Yay? Snapchat is ready to bring us augmented reality ads

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This guy
Who knows? Your corporate mascot could become as popular as this guy!
Photo: Snapchat

Advertising is the life blood of many tech companies, so it’s no surprise that people are already tripping over themselves to find a good way of monetizing augmented reality, the technology Apple has brought to the masses with ARKit.

The company that’s first out of the gate with AR spam is Snapchat, which has just announced that it’s opening up its 3D World Lenses to advertisers. Ever wanted to have fun™ by interacting with a beloved corporate mascot? Well, now you can.

“Perhaps you’ve seen our Dancing Hot Dog spinning across the world,” Snapchat writes in a blog post. “He’s a new friend of ours, and one of our most popular Lenses to date. The Dancing Hot Dog was viewed more than 2 billion times on Snapchat — a testament to how much our community loves amazing augmented reality experiences inside the camera. Now, you can create yours.”

According to Snapchat, 1 in 3 of its daily active users checks out Lenses each day, which makes this a “huge opportunity to drive engagement and awareness.” Want a bit more marketing speak? Apparently, campaigns with Lenses aren’t just toys; they’re “a tool to drive consideration, purchase intent, and other business objectives.”

While we totally don’t begrudge companies making money, I really hope that augmented reality doesn’t just become another way to spam users with ads. That’s one of the issues with other innovative technologies like iBeacons, which can be incredibly useful, but also run the risk of tipping over into full-on seamless spam machines.

Still, if you run a company that could do with some of the success of Snapchat’s Dancing Hot Dog rubbing off on you, this is your lucky day!

Snapchat’s app can be downloaded for free from the App Store, compatible with all iOS devices running iOS 9.0 and later.

What’s the best example of AR in action you’ve seen so far? Let us know in the comments below.