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Snapchat Intros Lens Creative Partners Program



Snapchat has launched a global Lens Creative Partners program, designed to connect brands with augmented reality (AR) experts and Lenses creators. The program certifies 30+ creators, from large agencies to expert individuals, who’ve been building engaging, immersive AR Lenses for Snap since the launch of Lens Studio. In total, Snapchat expects to onboard 100+ creators over the next several months.

Snapchat aims to give brands easy access to expert AR ad creators, no matter their budget, brand, or location. By expanding its network of skilled creators, Snapchat is continuing to lower the barrier for brands to create and run sponsored AR, while simultaneously championing (and helping monetize) the creative AR community. These certified creators are experienced in developing quality AR, and have completed a rigorous course about the development process, creative best practices, ad policies and buy models for sponsored AR Lenses on Snapchat.

Within the Middle East, agencies such as Leo Burnett, TBWA and Saatchi & Saatchi have already come on board as Lens Creative Partners.

AR on Snapchat

Augmented Reality is a key part of the Snapchat app — over 70 million people play with AR “Lenses” on the app per day. Each of those daily users average 3 minutes doing so, which adds up to 500 years of daily AR play time on the app.

The Lens Studio ecosystem is also thriving. To date, over 250,000 Lenses have been submitted through the tool, which have been viewed by Snapchatters over 15 billion times.

This is because Snapchat’s home screen is a camera that invites users to create, rather than more passively scroll through a feed of content. That design choice helped Snapchat pioneer ‘talking with pictures’ (a core use of the app), and popularize augmented reality for the masses – like the famous puppy face or dancing hot dog.

Lenses became a viral hit for advertisers in late 2015, as millions of users began choosing to play with brand campaigns that turned their heads into tacos, dunked them with Gatorade, and so on. Lenses can massively boost awareness or sales for a brand, product, film — as the average user plays with a Lens for 10-15 seconds, and can then send that fun Snap to their friends, which is a powerful recommendation.

Snapchat has continued to evolve the format, launching 3D World (object) Lenses last year after the success of the famous dancing hot dog Lens. In April, the company launched ‘Shoppable AR‘, a new type of AR Lens advertising that in addition to boosting awareness, adds a button users can tap to browse a product page, download an app, or watch a movie trailer. This feature, combined with the Snap Pixel released for all advertisers in June, allows advertisers to measure the return on their investment by tracking the purchases made after engaging with the AR ad.

Adweek wrote on the highly efficient pricing and ROI this summer, now that Lenses have a full suite of targeting and measurement: “Advertisers can pay between $10 and $14 for 1,000 AR lens plays with no minimum ad buy. Another option is a Snap ad that requires users to swipe up to unlock an AR feature. Those are even cheaper, ranging between $3 and $5 per 1,000 impressions.

According to Nielsen Catalina, the campaigns seem to work. The measurement company—which recently expanded its partnership with Snap for increased ad-targeting—measured 22 CPG brand campaigns and found an average sales lift of 10 percent. Nielsen’s in-app polling also found that lenses increased ad awareness by 19 points while also increasing brand lift by 7 points.

“We are excited to be a launch partner for the Creative Lens Partner programme with Snapchat. AR offers us the opportunity to bring ideas to life in more unexpected and immersive ways, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Snapchat to bring their knowledge and expertise in-house across our region,” said Noah Khan, Regional Head of Digital and Innovation – CEE, Africa and Middle East, TBWA.

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Samsung Internet is Now Available for Download on Windows PCs



Samsung’s default browser, Samsung Internet, has expanded its reach to desktop computers and laptops, now available for download on the Microsoft Store. One notable feature is the ability for users to sync their browsing data between their Galaxy devices and computers.

Upon launching the browser, users can import their browsing history, bookmarks, and search engines from other applications like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge by signing into their Samsung Cloud account. The browser also supports add-ons and extensions from Chrome and Edge, accessible through the Chrome Web Store.

Samsung Internet for Windows offers familiar features such as incognito mode, light and dark modes, and ad-blocker support. The design elements show similarities to both Chrome and Edge, providing a sense of familiarity for users of those browsers. A useful security feature allows users to delete bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and other data upon signing out, catering to those who share computers.

Despite its promising features, the browser’s PC debut is marred by a lack of complete sync support. Currently, only browsing history, bookmarks, and search engines can be imported, with no support for transferring saved passwords from Galaxy devices to computers. This omission may be addressed in future updates.

In May, Samsung Internet received an optimisation update for Galaxy tablet users. Toggleable features were introduced, allowing users to control the placement of the browser’s address, bookmark, and tab bars. The update also included a warning for users with a high number of open tabs, informing them that opening another tab would result in the deletion of the oldest tab.

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Google Clarifies the Cause of Missing Google Drive Files



Many Google Drive users recently experienced the unsettling disappearance of their files, prompting concerns. Google has now identified the root cause, attributing the issue specifically to the Google Drive for Desktop app. While assuring that only a limited subset of users is affected, the tech giant is actively investigating the matter and promises timely updates.

To prevent inadvertent file deletion, Google provides the following recommendations:

  1. Avoid clicking “Disconnect account” within Drive for desktop.
  2. Refrain from deleting or moving the app data folder, located at:
    • Windows: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\DriveFS
    • macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS
  3. Optionally, create a copy of the app data folder if there is sufficient space on your hard drive.

Before Google officially addressed the issue, distressed users took to the company’s support forum to report deleted files. One user from South Korea highlighted a particularly severe case where their account reverted to May 2023, resulting in the loss of anything uploaded or created after that date. Additionally, the user emphasised that they had not synced or shared their files or drive with anyone else.

As Google delves deeper into resolving this matter, affected users are advised to heed the provided precautions. The company’s commitment to ongoing updates reflects its dedication to swiftly addressing and rectifying the situation. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of proactive measures to safeguard digital data, especially as users navigate cloud-based platforms such as Google Drive.

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Is Apple’s New ‘NameDrop’ Feature a Cause for Parental Concern?



In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Apple’s new iOS 17 update has introduced a feature that’s sparking a mix of curiosity and concern: NameDrop. This functionality allows users to share contact information with others seamlessly, but it’s not without its set of caveats and considerations.

At the core of the apprehension is the proximity-based nature of NameDrop. For the feature to work, both devices must have iOS 17 installed, be unlocked, and be in close physical proximity – a touch is required to initiate the contact transfer. The user experience involves a swift interaction, prompting a screen at the top of the device with options to “receive only” or “share.”

The need for consent is emphasised in this process. Both users must actively participate in the transfer, acknowledging and approving the exchange of contact information. This deliberate approach is aimed at ensuring that the sharing of personal data is a conscious and intentional act.

However, the rollout of NameDrop has not been without its share of concerns, particularly among parents and law enforcement agencies. Police departments across the United States have issued warnings, urging parents to manually disable the feature on their children’s devices. The fear, it seems, is rooted in the potential for unintended consequences, especially considering the close physical interaction required.

Is it wise to err on the side of caution and turn off NameDrop? Perhaps. Is it time to hit the panic button? Not necessarily, according to experts in the field. In a report by The Washington Post, Chester Wisniewski, a digital security expert at Sophos, dismisses the concerns surrounding NameDrop as “hysteria” and “nonsense.” He suggests that Apple has implemented safeguards to prevent inadvertent information sharing.

One key aspect that should offer reassurance is the need for mutual consent and the deliberate physical proximity required for the feature to activate. The intentionality of this process is to eliminate the risk of accidental data exchanges, putting control firmly in the hands of the users.

As with any technological advancement, understanding and awareness play pivotal roles in ensuring a positive user experience. Educating users, especially parents and guardians, about the intricacies of NameDrop can empower them to make informed decisions about its use. Apple, being at the forefront of user privacy and security, is likely to continue refining and enhancing the feature based on user feedback and evolving security standards.

While the warnings from law enforcement underscore the importance of vigilance, it is crucial to approach the situation with a balanced perspective. The benefits of a feature like NameDrop, enabling seamless contact sharing in a world where connectivity is key, should not be overshadowed by fear.

Apple’s NameDrop feature introduces a novel way of sharing contact information, but its success hinges on user awareness and responsible usage. As technology continues to evolve, so too will the safeguards and features aimed at ensuring a secure and positive user experience. By staying informed and engaged, users can navigate the landscape of advancements like NameDrop with confidence.

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