Snap is releasing a new version of its AR development tool, called the Lens Studio 5.0 Beta, to developers starting today. The new AR development tool is designed to support more advanced AR development with increased productivity and the addition of new AI capabilities, including one powered by OpenAI. Snap made the announcement at its sixth annual Lens Fest AR developer conference on Thursday.
The company has partnered with OpenAI to offer a new ChatGPT Remote API that will allow developers to leverage ChatGPT in their Lenses. Developers will be able to generate text-based content to create new types of learning, conversational, and creative experiences for Snapchat users. For instance, developers can create Lenses that feature infinite quizzes and randomizers created by ChatGPT. Or, they can create new types of Lenses that change the camera style by automatically applying filters and directors modes based on the user’s prompt.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time that Snap has leveraged OpenAI, as its My AI chatbot is powered by the company’s GPT technology.
Another new AI capability in Lens Studio 5.0 Beta is a 3D face mask generator that enables “anyone to build their first potentially viral self-expression Lens within a matter of seconds,” the company says. The 3D face mask generator combines generative AI and Snap’s face mesh capabilities.
Lens Studio 5.0 Beta also boosts productivity, as it allows for projects to load 18x faster. Snap says the enhanced productivity will allow developers to create more complex AR projects. Plus, Lens Studio 5.0 Beta supports version control tools like Git, which means multiple developers will be able work on projects at the same time.
Snap launched Lenses with Digital Goods last year, which allowed developers to offer exclusive AR features within a Lens that Snapchat users can unlock for a fee. Now, Digital Goods are available to any developer. Snap notes that a new section of Lens Explorer will promote Lenses with Digital Goods so it’s easier for Snapchat users to find and try them.
Snap says there are now 330,000 developers building on its AR platform who have created nearly 3.5 million Lenses. These Lenses have been viewed by Snapchat users more than 3 trillion times in the last year.
The company also gave an update on its Lens Creator Rewards program, which launched over the summer and gives AR creators and developers the chance to earn a monthly reward of up to $7,200 for top-performing Lenses. In the first month, more than 45,000 Lenses opted in, generating over 5 billion Lens interactions by Snapchat users. The company did not share how much it has paid out to developers as part of the program. However, Snap says payouts differ depending on Lens performance and engagement is determined by a proprietary formula based on views “as well as other various engagement metrics.”