Augmented Reality (AR) allows us to customize shareable moments through digitally altering photo and video. It may seem like AR is a foreign term that isn’t relevant to your everyday life, but over 1 billion people have already used AR effects through Spark AR on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Portal! Spark AR Studio is Facebook’s new platform which gives creatives the tools and resources to create captivating AR experiences on mobile for both Facebook and Instagram. At the end of August, Spark AR’s public beta was launched on Instagram, giving creators the power to publish their effects to use on Instagram Stories.

Along with Spark AR Studio, the Effect Gallery was launched on Instagram, which includes AR effects from the creative community, making it easier to discover and try the effects. To try this yourself, hit ‘Browse More Effects’ at the end of your effects tray while in the Instagram Camera! Within Effects Gallery, you’ll find thousands of different AR effects and the ability to sort by category or topic. The Effects Gallery also features selected effects from Instagram’s creator community which is quite similar to the Instagram Explore page.

Whenever someone uses one of the AR effects on Instagram, they’re essentially promoting the creative, (and the brand!) to their followers which has the potential to go viral. AR has immense potential to use as a marketing tool but it’s vastly underused. Instagram is the perfect platform to create and share AR; they have over 500 million daily active users, a user-friendly interface, and a solid grasp on the millennial desire to share fun and animated selfies - it’s the perfect fit. You may have seen celebrities like Kylie Jenner using these AR effects in the past, but this new update allows brands, influencers, artists, along with everyday people to dive into their imagination and make it a reality.

Businesses have a lot to gain when users simply share the creative and engaging AR effects that people love using. Customized augmented reality is super interactive and shareable, so it’s the perfect tool for building brand awareness! In addition, AR experiences where people can “try” products, allow businesses to create personalized connections with their customers — which in turn, drives more purchases. With the new integration, Instagram users will be able to virtually “try” products before making a purchase in the app. This feature is currently only available to a select number of brands, however, will likely roll out to more brands in the new year.

Being first to market with AR will allow business to learn the ropes and find creative and innovative ways to share branded experiences on the platform. If you’re interested in sharing your brand while utilizing user-generated content – please reach out to our team at