An exciting F8 conference announcement appears to be coming to fruition this week in the form of Facebook’s augmented reality ads. Whilst Facebook announced a couple of months ago that it was working with businesses to use AR to show off products in Messenger, they have also started to appear in the News Feed whilst they are being tested by a group of advertisers in the US.
Michael Kors was the first brand to test out AR ads in the News Feed, with others such as NYX Professional Makeup and Bobbi Brown planning their own tests for later in the year.
As Ty Ahmad-Taylor, VP of Facebook’s Product Marketing, puts it: the new feature “bridges the gap” between the real-life shopping experience and online shopping. Users will be able to try on advertised products in the comfort of their home or whilst on the move through their cameras, in a process similar to a Snapchat filter. For example, the Michael Kors tests allow the user to try on a pair of sunglasses via their camera by selecting the ‘Tap to try it on’ option in the ad. It is expected that AR advertising will be rolled out to include cosmetics, fashion accessories and even furniture.
There is also exciting news for Shopping for Instagram stories, which has just started its global rollout of shopping tags. Brands started using the feature last month, which allows users to click a sticker to allow them to purchase the advertised product.