Snapchat released a new lens to support COVID-19 relief efforts on April 7th. The augmented reality lens scans paper money and shows you an animation about the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization. The lens also links to the fund’s website to make a donation. Donations support the WHO in tracking the spread of the virus, providing medical supplies, and in aiding treatment research and development. Here’s how to use it.
To use the lens:
- Open up Snapchat
- Begin typing the name of the lens, “COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund,” into the search bar at the top of the screen. This will filter out the results. Tap the lens labeled “COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.”
To activate the animation:
- Make sure you’re not in selfie mode. If you are, flip the camera by clicking the button in the top-right corner that looks like a rectangle made out of two arrows.
- Point your camera toward a currency note. Snapchat says its AR scanners can detect 23 different kinds of currency from 33 countries, but it has to be a note, not coins. In the case of US dollars, it has to be face up (so you can see whichever former president or founding father’s face is depicted on your bill). Center the note in the screen so that it’s roughly in the same rectangle that the four bills appear in on your screen.
- This should activate the animation. First, you’ll see an animated version of your bill, then a hospital, then gloves and a mask, and lastly, a microscope. The animations represent what the donation money goes toward: patient care, medical supplies, and research.
- As with any Snap, you can tap that circular button toward the bottom of the screen during the animation to take a photo or press and hold it to record a video of the animation and send that as a Snap. To post or send it, click the blue arrow in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. On the next screen, you can choose to add it to your story, Snapchat’s global compilation Our Story, or to send it to specific individual friends or group conversations. Tap the options you want and then click the blue arrow in the bottom right-hand corner to send.
- You can send the lens to friends by clicking the icon with an “i” in the top-left corner and then tapping on “Send to Friends.” Select the friends you want to send it to and then tap on the blue arrow in the bottom-right-hand corner.
To make a donation:
- Clicking on the “More” button above the icon for the lens will open up a screen showing you the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund’s website.
- Scroll down to where it says “Donate Now”
- You can choose an amount to donate by clicking on one of the buttons or enter an amount into the white box (the minimum you can contribute is $3). You can choose to make this contribution monthly and to make the donation in honor of someone. Make your selections, then click “Next.”
- Fill out your contact information and address and click “Next”
- Enter in your credit card information, then click “Next,” and complete the donation