Snapchat today is rolling out world lenses, a new twist on its popular face filters that continues the company’s exploration of augmented reality. Starting today, tapping the camera screen while using the rear-facing camera will bring up new 3D lenses. A cloud, a rainbow, flowers, and a floating “OMG” are part of the initial lineup, which will change daily, the company said.
After selecting your lens, you can move it around the screen with your finger before taking a photo or video. Once you’ve placed it, the app behaves as if the object exists in the real world: walk closer to it and it gets bigger. In this it’s different from Snapchat’s 3D stickers, which are flat objects that you pin after capturing your image.
The timing of today’s news is shady, and I mean that as a compliment: it comes on the first day of Facebook’s F8 developer conference. Facebook has, of course, spent the past year gradually importing as many Snapchat features as possible into its suite of apps. World lenses look delightful in this promotional video, so look for them to pop up in Facebook apps later this year.