Social AR: The Future Of Advertising?

Hidde Huizinga

November 10, 2022

Although you might know it mostly from its social function, Augmented Reality (AR) is starting to become more and more of a present subject in our digital lives, including functioning as an advertising tool as well. Since it’s one of our own offered services, we decided to shine a light on this relatively new phenomenon, to try and give you a sense on what it is and how it might be applicable to your business in the (near) future.

So, what is augmented reality exactly?

Besides the reality we live in, we currently differentiate, within this context, three other realities: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality, or all together: Extended Realities. There would be too much ground to cover diving into all three of them, but to give you some idea, here’s a short summary:

  • VR: a simulated experience that employs pose tracking and 3D near-eye displays to give the user an immersive feel of a virtual world
  • AR: an interactive experience that combines the real world and computer-generated content
  • MR: the merging of a real-world environment and a computer-generated one, enabling the user to let one influence the other.

Augmented reality thus, basically is a virtual layer on top of the world as we experience it. Applying this type of technology in, let’s say, the retail-segment of the digital world opens op uncountable opportunities and ways to exploit it. 

Example given

Yes, let’s make all this specific. As said, filters as used by, for instance, Instagram or Snapchat, are a form of AR. It adds a virtual layer on top of our reality. Although it is of course extremely entertaining to see your friends with dog ears and a large tongue out of their mouths, this specific type of technology can also be put to use in a more commercial way. So we reached out and asked Gucci to demonstrate this. Check it out in this video!

How will this affect e-commerce?

The first step is for people to get used to Social AR. All the big tech companies are currently anticipating their own version of the “metaverse”, so whether we’ll like it or not, it’s only a matter of time until we’ll all be using it.
Within this anticipation, there’s a lot of experimenting going on. Social platforms, for instance, have such a huge user base returning to their app on a daily basis, that they have the perfect test group. You can imagine how this gives them the input they need to improve their technology and their services. Only for the rest of the world to follow them.

By the time people are used to it, it’s likely for Social AR to be all over us. Enabling companies to stay top of mind, sell more products and services and deepen their brand. Just to name a few purposes. 

Social AR, (not) for everyone

Now the question arises: is Social AR relevant for me?

Depending on your business, Social AR will be relevant for you to a greater or lesser extent. If you’re in retail, usability will be more straightforward than when you provide a service, for instance.In addition to that, early adaptation is usually more costly than waiting until developments drop the price. Then again, being an early adapter might just give you the edge over your competitors, resulting in more revenue.

It shows that Social AR is definitely something to consider. To what extent it’ll become relevant to you depends on a number of factors. Are you interested in exploring this new digital field? Whether it’s for yourself or your business, we’re happy to try and help you cover all the bases before making any decisions. 

The future is now!