Snapchat is rolling out a new feature today that includes a tool that allows users to make custom AR (augmented reality) face lenses and caption texts.
Users can choose from 150 different lens templates, which can also be personalised with text.
The lenses are priced from $9.99 (£7.17) and increase in price depending on things like the size of the area in which you want them to be available (20,000 to 5 million square feet) and how long the lens lasts.
The lens feature is available on desktop browsers or via the Snapchat app on iOS in the US.
The company is working to release the feature globally and for android devices.
The new feature is similar to Snapchat’s custom geofilters, which allow users to place and buy personalised versions of geofilters, directly from their phone.
Geofilters are a location-based tool that allows Snapchat users to share where they are, or what they’re up to, by adding overlay text and images to a Snap.
In order to create a custom face lens in the iOS Snapchat app, the user must tap on Settings, then select Filters and Lenses.
Then, the user can choose from one of the face lens templates and add text if they like.
Snapchat recommends that users create and purchase their filters at least three hours before an event in to allow for it to be available on time.
The tool is made for consumers and Snap has said that any company that attempts to use the feature for advertising will not be approved.
Snap’s shares have gone up by 22 per cent in after-hours trading to $17.09 (£12.28) thanks to the company’s better-than-expected fourth quarter sales of $286 million (£205m), far surpassing expert predictions of $253.2 million (£182m), as companies advertised more in the key Christmas period.
Today’s new features announcement is part of Snap’s to grow its user base and diversify its sources of revenue.
In an effort to make it the even easier to use, Snapchat recently overhauled its app with a fresh new redesign.
The makeover to separate ‘social’ and ‘media’, creating a clear distinction between interactions with friends and content from publishers and creators.
Snapchat now ‘learns’ who your favourite friends are and the Discover window will show content from brands and publishers.
The app redesign is rolling out to users in stages in countries including the UK, US, Australia and Canada.
A Snapchat spokesperson said: ‘Updates as big as this one can take a little getting used to, but we hope the community will enjoy it once they settle in.’
Users can now swipe left to see the Friends screen, where they can chat with friends and watch their Stories.
They can swipe right to see the Discover screen, where they can watch Stories from publishers, creators, and the community.
A number of other features not announced by the Venice, Los Angeles firm, have also been picked up on by users.
That includes new fonts and a ‘Do Not Disturb’ function, that lets you mute notifications from groups and individuals.
During Snap’s annual earnings call, CEO Evan Spiegel said: ‘Our redesign separates social from media, solving many of the problems that arise when friends are commingled with professional content creators.
‘While we are still very early in the rollout, we are optimistic about the potential to unlock additional growth with the redesign of our application.
‘Our early observations support the thesis behind the new architecture and the many growth opportunities that it provides.
‘For example, in one of our first test markets, we saw that the number of Daily Active Users watching Publisher Stories on Discover grew by over 40 per cent when compared to the old design of the application.’
The ‘Friends’ page is where users will see the friends they talk to the most.
The area shows friends’ Stories, their Bitmojis and users Chats all together.
To the right side of the camera, users will now find a brand new Discover page where they can watch Stories from publishers, creators, and the community that they find most interesting.
The new Discover page will serve this content in a full-screen, vertical scroll, ordered on what Snapchat has seen is most relevant and interesting to the user.
While the Stories on Discover are algorithmically personalised, Snapchat also curates and moderates everything that is promoted.
As part of the redesign, Snapchat has added a few other additions.
Your own Story can now be managed through your Profile page, while Group Chats now automatically have their own Group Story.
The Snap Map will now make an appearance on the Discover page in Search.
A number of other redesigns seemed to have been slipped into the update under the radar.
Do Not Disturb lets you tap and hold on a person or group to mute notifications from them.
This means you won’t receive constant alerts, but don’t have to go as far as blocking people or leaving groups.
Muted people and groups won’t know that you have activated the feature.
It was introduced without any fanfare by Snapchat in recent weeks, according to reports in TechCrunch.
Snapchat also confirmed that it is introducing new fonts and text styles, following similar moves by Instagram.
Snapchatters will be given an option to switch between existing small and big text sizes and new Glow neon and Rainbow multicoloured lettering styles.
Text captions will also be treated like stickers, which means more than one caption can be added to the same Snap, another existing feature on Instagram.
The update is one of a raft of new features rolled out by Snapchat in recent months.
In January, Snapchat launched a ‘Deluxe’ version of its Bitmoji app to let users create more realistic personal avatars.
The app now has hundreds of new physical features, including a range of hairstyles, skin tones and accessories, that can be used to create animated characters.
Unlike the previous Bitmoji app, all features – such as makeup and high heels – can be applied to both male and female characters.
In December 2017, it unveiled Lens Studio, which lets you create your own animations for Snapchat’s augmented reality lenses.
Speaking at the launch of a trial of the new features in November, Mr Spiegel added: ‘Until now, social media has always mixed photos and videos from your friends with content from publishers and creators.
‘While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves.
‘The new Snapchat separates the social from the media.’
From professional designers to students, the software helps you bring to life anything your imagination can conjure.
In October 2017, the firm teamed up with several online services to enrich its platform, introducing a new feature called ‘Context Cards’.
Select Snaps now show a ‘more’ button that links users to information related to the locations pictured, including opening hours or contact details.
The feature can also help you take simple actions such as booking a ride with Uber or reserving a table through Bookatable or Open Table.