KEY POINTS 

  • Social media is consumers' most coveted channel for mobile augmented reality (AR) experiences. Social apps like Snapchat and Facebook are building out tools like face filters and AR effects which provide consumers with what's likely their first point of contact with AR. This ease of access is helping bring AR to the masses: On average, over 70% of Snapchat's 186 million daily active users play with or view a Lens each day as of Q4 2018, per Snap. 
  • Consumers' early acceptance of AR in social media, combined with the tech's highly engaging nature, is creating a revenue opportunity that brands can't ignore. AR ads are expected to generate over $13 billion in revenue by 2022, according to a study by Tractica, and we expect them to account for over 12% of all mobile ad revenue by that time. This makes it crucial for brands to map out their AR strategies to secure an early-mover advantage.
  • Brands can benefit from implementing AR in their social media strategies in three ways:
    • They can escalate sales and downloads because AR creates an immersive environment that heightens the shopping journey. For example, AR allows consumers to recreate the in-store try-on experience on social: After partnering with Snapchat to introduce a Lens that allowed users to add sunglasses to their selfies, Michael Kors tripled purchase intent relative to mobile norms in just a day. AR can also drive app downloads, with Playdemic successfully driving over 10,000 installs of its golf game app after using Snapchat's AR Lens.
    • Brands can drive consumer engagement with AR ads and experiences because the tech fosters active engagement. The key to the immersive nature of AR ads is that they move away from forcing the audience to idly watch the campaign, encouraging users to interact with it instead. When Kia Motors America used AR effects in Facebook Messenger to show users a 3D image of the new Kia Stinger GT in their choice of color and environment, for example, it saw a 20% boost in daily phone calls to dealerships as a direct result of the Messenger experience.
    • They can also lift brand awareness by aligning AR experiences with cultural moments and making them creatively relevant. This strategy helps brands capitalize on the sharing nature of AR experiences [...]