The new lens leverages on Snap Inc’s AR technology which lets you scan real life objects using the Snapchat camera to unlock an AR experience. When you view a currency such as a MYR10 note (among 22 other currencies globally) in the Snapchat camera and you tap on it, an AR experience will trigger.
Stopping short of allowing you to make a donation to COVID-19 relief efforts from the app itself, it will however, show you how a potential donation could support the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) immediate response efforts. This includes tracking the spread of COVID-19, ensuring patients get the care they need, and providing frontline workers with critical supplies.
Three lenses are being launched in partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the WHO. They will direct you to the donation page for the fund.
To access these lenses, you can find them in the lens carousel, via Snapcode, or by using Scan.
Snap believes Snapchatters play a critical role in stopping the spread of the coronavirus and it has seen increased engagement across the Snapchat platform, including in Snaps sent between best friends, voice, and video calling.
With many cities under lockdown, people are spending more time on the phone and turning to visual communication to stay in touch. Snaps sent between friends reached an all-time high, surpassing typical peaks on Christmas and major holidays. Time spent calling has grown by more than 50 percent during late March compared to late February. Likewise, time spent playing with Lenses is also up by 25 percent in the same period.
Group Chats and engagement in Snap Games also reached all-time highs.
Snapchat continues to help its communities communicate with their loved ones while practising social distancing, staying informed, sharing vital information with friends and family, and more.
Snap’s COVID-19 efforts
Snap wants to make sure Snapchatters get access to up-to-date trusted and reliable information on COVID-19. The WHO and CDC publish regular updates via their official accounts. More than 40 media publishers around the world also cover every aspect of the pandemic. The company is also onboarding new editorial partners. Its in-house team produce regular coverage and continuously update Discover with tips and info about COVID-19. To date, over 445 Discover Stories or Shows have been produced, with over 68 million Snapchatters worldwide viewing COVID-19-related content on Snapchat.
Snap arms Snapchatters with creative, education tools such as the Snappable mythbusting game based on guidance from the WHO. That aside, it also has an informational lens developed in partnership with WHO that lets Snapchatters share safety tips in a visual way, as well as Bitmoji that enforce health and safety messages.
The company also sped up the launch of a new feature—Here For You, new support resources from local experts for Snapchatters experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, suicidal thoughts, grief, and bullying.
In addition, there’s also a COVID-19-specific section produced by the WHO, CDC, Ad Council, and Crisis Text Line.