Data Point of the Week is AR Insider’s dive into the latest spatial computing figures. It includes data points, along with narrative insights and takeaways. For an indexed collection of data and reports, subscribe to ARtillery Pro.
Engagement data continue to roll out from Snapchat, sealing its position as the consumer AR usage and revenue leader. In addition to 600,000 lenses and 142 million lens DAUs, the latest metric buried in its Q3 earnings call is that active AR lens users engage “nearly 30 times per day.”
“Snapchat now powers billions of daily AR experiences, with each of our daily active users interacting with augmented reality nearly 30 times every day on average,” said Evan Speigel on the earnings call. This high level of engagement with augmented reality has made Snapchat an appealing platform for creators and developers to build and distribute new augmented reality experiences.”
This frequency metric is important and deviates from the “vanity metrics” we more often hear in AR, such as app downloads. Active use indicators are a lot more telling of AR’s impact, and include metrics we’ve examined recently like session lengths. Metrics will continue to evolve.
Panning back, Snap continues to double down on AR as it sees usage and financial results. It continues to attribute AR to its revenue growth and notable turnaround in public markets in 2019. Beyond immediate results, it sees AR as a core part of its future business as a camera company.
It also realizes this is best achieved by creating a network effect. That works on a few different levels including the viral distribution and social sharing of lenses among users. But it also applies to the network effect that’s gained by cultivating lens development that in turn fuels user demand.
That’s a notable flip from its early AR lens experiences that were limited in volume and gated by a highly curated approach. It has since leaned into the idea of scaling up lens development by rolling out a steady procession of tools and incentives for lens developers. We expect this to continue.
The latest is its 3D paint feature, launched alongside the new AR Bar. This lets Snapchat users annotate live scenes with stylistic overlays, essentially making anyone a lens developer. This aligns with the pattern of crowdsourcing AR, pursuant to feeding and fueling hunger for lenses.
Expect that trend to continue as Snap internalizes the feedback loop of its lens efforts. AR clearly impacts its notable financial turnaround. Though all of the above applies to community-created lenses, it stimulates lens demand and in turn attracts brand advertisers to the medium.
Meanwhile, advertising is AR’s leading revenue source with $453 million last year according to our research arm ARtillery Intelligence, growing to $8.8 billion by 2023. Snap is the market share leader but Facebook looms. The latter has more global scale, but the former is more AR focused.
Because these stats keep rolling in and are hard to keep up with, here’s a quick list of the latest Snapchat AR figures. We’ll keep tracking these stats closely and circle back with more reporting and analysis as the numbers tick upward. It will be a key driver for AR advertising revenue.
— Daily active users: 210 million
— Daily active lens users: 142 million
— AR lens share of DAUs: 68 percent
— Lens developer growth: 20 percent in Q3
— Lenses created to date: 600,000
— Lenses viewed to date: 15 billion
— Lens usage frequency: ~30x per day on average
Header Image Credit: Snap, Inc.