How Snapchat is making its comeback: Custom lenses

How Snapchat is making its comeback: Custom lenses

Believe it or not, last year, some people actually declared Snapchat as a dead app–yes, you heard that right. Snapchat, the app that made us more self-absorbed and allowed us to share bits and pieces of our lives for a solid 24 hours, was slowly losing to its competition thanks to the rise of Instagram and Facebook stories.

However, despite the backlash caused by its competitors, Snapchat remains to stay alive mainly because of Gen Z teenagers who continue to spend a lot of time on the app. Also, there’s one more thing that unexpectedly saved the day–the innovations and modifications made towards the *drumroll* face filters.

The face filters and snap lenses available on the app have come a long way since its inception last September 15, 2015. Because of the popularity of dog, flower crown, airbrushed, and different kinds of filters, even Facebook and Instagram stories were obliged to create their own.

For recent innovations surrounding the snap lenses feature, Snapchat has quietly released some filters that would be activated once you snap a photo of a specific object, person, or activity. Not a lot of Snapchat users know about this. Even I just found out about it when filters such as “Bea’s Cravings” appeared after I snapped a photo of my meal. The entire Snapchat experience is actually very personal and immersive.

Another cool thing about Snapchat filters is that you can now download custom ones too! If you go on Reddit, there’s actually a Snapchat Community Lenses group wherein someone can request for custom filters and another group member actually comes through to provide the requested filter.

Sidenote: If you want to create your own custom snap lens/filter, the creators of Snapchat have released Lens Studio which is basically an app/software that allows you to create your own lenses.

Besides Reddit, there are a bunch of Instagram accounts dedicated to sharing snap lenses (Just input “Snap Lenses” on the search box and a lot of accounts would pop out). Some of the filters I’ve seen are about memes, gaming effects, and pop culture references.

Wanna try it out? Here’s how it works:

1. Make sure you have the Snapchat app (duh).

On Snapchat, if you have the link to the filter, then all you have to do is to click it. It will bring you back to the app and you have the option to unlock it for 24 hours or send it to your friends. Take note that you can opt to send it to your friends anytime you wish as long as you have the filter unlocked.

If you have the Snapcode instead of the filter link, then the process is basically the same except in order to unlock it, you have to take a screenshot of the snapcode. Afterwards, go to the app and click on your profile on the upper left corner. Click the “Add Friends” button and then choose the Snapcode option. Your camera roll appears so you just have to click on your screenshot of the snapcode.

2. Once you’ve unlocked it, you are now free to use it within the duration of its in-app availability which is 24 hours after it has been unlocked.

*To send it to your friends: Click on the “info” button which is on top of the button you click when you want to snap something then choose the “Send to Friends” option.

Clearly, this steps up the Snapchat game of every user who tries it out since they get custom filters that not everyone has. It certainly gave Snapchat the upper hand when it comes to filters since their competitors have a long way to go before they can have this feature available. With that in mind, I think Snapchat’s gonna stay for a much, much longer time if they continuously modify and update their features. Folks, Snapchat is definitely not dead thanks to this.

Text and photos by Bea Javate

Featured image from Verge

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