Snap is taking its augmented reality tools to a much bigger canvas. The company today announced Landmarkers, a set of lenses aimed at bringing new life to some of the world’s most famous locations. The lenses, which were designed by Snapchat users, transform locations like the Eiffel Tower into animated characters — one of which throws up rainbows. They’re rolling out inside Snapchat starting today.
At launch, Landmarkers are available in five locations around the world. In addition to the Eiffel Tower, you can find them at Buckingham Palace in London; the Capitol in Washington, DC; the Flatiron Building in New York City; and the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
One lens causes the Capitol Building to shoot confetti. Another turns the Flatiron Building into a giant slice of pizza. A third transforms the Chinese Theatre into a stack of hot dogs and ice cream cones.
The lenses are whimsical in the tradition of Snap’s lenses, and offer people more reason to open the app and create snaps. Lens creators will be able to submit their own takes on the landmarks using Lens Studio 2.0, an upgrade to its development platform that is rolling out. Lenses for Landmarkers will be hand-picked by Snap employees to prevent abuse, the company said. Other new features in Lens Studio include tools for making lenses that track hands, the body, and pets.
So far, Snap hasn’t offered lens creators any way to make money, other than occasionally pairing them up with advertisers to make branded lenses. But as part of today’s announcements, Snap will let them create public profiles within Snapchat, so if you find a lens from someone you like you can tap on their profile to see what other lenses they have created. To date, creators have made more than 400,000 lenses, Snap says, and they have been used 15 billion times.
Landmarkers can be found by tapping on the camera screen, as with any other lens. To help people discover them, Snap will notify users when they are near a Landmarker if they have the camera open and have accessed the lens carousel.
Landmarkers will begin rolling out today. Snap will add many more monument-based lenses in the future, the company said today at its partner summit in Hollywood.
In addition to Landmarkers, the company’s camera platform is also adding two new partner integrations for its Scan product. By pressing on the camera screen, users can already find products using Amazon and song titles using Shazam. Today, Snap is adding Giphy to help users find contextual GIFs, and Photomath for helping them cheat on tests.