Despite many people not being aware of the Augmented Reality technology around them, AR is rapidly gaining traction and has become more and more common in our everyday lives. After all, the number of mobile augmented reality users is projected to hit 3.5 billion by 2022.
The trend is reflected At VMG Digital where AR-enabled projects have grown exponentially. Only 12 months ago, the number of AR projects we created made about 10% of the bulk. It now makes over 40% of our creative projects.
Within this context, Facebook has just announced new ways in which it is introducing AR to drive product discovery and purchases across its suite of apps.
But first, the technology.
According to Facebook, technology has been a major blocker in making Augmented Reality more widely available across its apps. That’s why it is now making changes to make AR technology more accessible to business owners and advertisers. “We’re working to make it easier, faster and more cost-effective for brands and advertisers to bring AR into their catalogs into Business Manager by piloting APIs for Beauty Partners with Modiface, a L’Oreal company, and Perfect Corp, two of the leading artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) beauty tech solutions providers.”
As part of the enablement, Facebook is making it easier and faster to import AR-ready 3D object assets directly into Facebook, meaning brands will be able to easily surface those assets into shops on Instagram or Facebook for an immersive “try-on” experience.
In this way, Augmented Reality goes beyond an entertaining way to create content and can be used as a tool to increase brand affinity and increase confidence in customers about their purchases.
Retail is a ripe market for the use of AR. We are now quite familiar with the experience of virtually “trying-on” make-up, sunglasses or other items.
Facebook first introduced a tool called AR Try On in 2019 only to select merchants that allowed users to virtually try on certain products. Two years on, Facebook is improving and expanding AR Try On by making it available across existing ad formats such as Dynamic Ads.
Source: Facebook for Business
AR in Dynamic Ads
This however is about to change because AR is coming to Facebook Dynamic Ads!
When AR is fully enabled in Dynamic Ads, they will automatically show relevant products to people based on their interests using AR Try On technology to allow them to virtually ‘try on’ products before they buy.
In order to scale up product discovery on Facebook, the upload and generation of AR – enabled products has to become easier and not limited to just one product. That’s why instead of making one product available to try on, testing is underway to allow advertisers to upload a whole product catalog for AR products. These products will then power Dynamic Ads on Facebook, displaying relevant products to users based on their interests, intent and actions, and allowing them to interact by trying them on themselves or their home.