Snapchat recently rolled out a new feature which lets users create custom AR Face Lenses, and also released exclusive Face Filters for the iPhone X which employ the device’s True Depth sensors for realistic-looking filters. It is now expanding the utility of AR to beyond aesthetics and cool filters, with an online marketplace for products with ‘Shoppable AR’.

Shoppable AR allows advertisers to market and sell goods by using sponsored lenses, which come embedded with buttons/links that direct users to a product page on a shopping portal, present an app install prompt and lets users watch videos without leaving the app.

An app install prompt on Snapchat (TechCrunch)

As part of the Shoppable AR feature, Snapchat has introduced three new elements in the app that cater to different domains of marketing and product placement. The first one is a ‘website’ option that will allow users to visit a product’s shopping page or a sign-up page by tapping the ‘SHOP NOW’ button. The second marketing tool is targeted at developers and it presents an app download prompt in the Lens section in the form of an ‘INSTALL NOW’ button for an app.

The last option is that of a video section where users can watch extended trailers, short instructional videos, etc. aimed at promoting a TV series, online shows and a lot more.

Clairol, Adidas, King and STX have joined the Shoppable AR bandwagon to promote their respective offerings. Adidas will use the sponsored Lenses to market its Deerupt line of running shoes, while King will urge Snapchat users to download the wildly popular Candy Crush game if they haven’t done it already. Clairol will market its Color Crave Hair Makeup, and STX will be promoting the ‘I Feel Pretty’ movie starring Amy Schumer via short videos. The Shoppable AR platform won’t incur additional charges for advertising companies if they are already paying for a similar marketing service on Snapchat’s platform.