As announced today, Snapchat is today expanding the capabilities of its widely popular lenses features by bringing them to the whole wide world instead of just our pretty faces. Aptly dubbed as ‘World Lenses,’ the messaging/camera giant is now ready to augment the reality around us by placing 3D objects around us.

Since the lenses were previously more like face masks, thus, they would morph your face using the front and back camera. But, these world lenses have specifically been launched for being accessed via the rear-facing camera of your smartphone. They are aimed only at adding to the scenes (or surroundings) being captured, which brings a step closer to employing augmented reality elements in our daily lives.

Talking about the release in an official blog post, Snap Inc mentions,

While Snapping with the rear-facing camera, simply tap the camera screen to find new Lenses that can paint the world around you with new 3D experiences!

As for how the world lenses actually work, you don’t need any marker or hinge points to place content in the real world with this new update. You can simply hold down on the camera interface to access the lenses and face masks. Remember to use the rear-facing lens and select any of the available world lenses to augment your experience in real-time. You’re currently being provided with a couple of handy new world lenses which float in the environment being captured.

You can tap on any of these lenses to change the 3D object placed in the real world, meaning tap on the rainbow to access a cloud, coffee mug, and a chilling ice-cream candy. The other world lens ‘Hey’ can be used to place floating gestures like Gross, Love, and even OMG. You can then move these 3D objects across the plane with your finger before taking a photo or video — can be moved during capture as well. Watch the video attached below to understand more about how these AR lenses work:

This development comes on the heels of the upcoming Facebook F8 developer conference, which is about to kick off in just a couple hours. Over the last six months, Snap Inc. and Facebook have become the fiercest of rivals because the latter started picking features and porting them into its own apps. Now, you’ll find an iterative version of Snapchat Stories across all of Facebook’s app stack — be it the core social experience, Instagram, Messenger or even WhatsApp.

But, Snapchat continues to showcase the prowess of its camera filters, which have helped the app gain popularity and users among the millennial population. It is not only the existing face and the newly launched World lenses but also the ephemeral messaging features that enable it to take lead in terms of usage or engagement over Instagram. The latter now, however, boasts of now having more daily active users (about 200 million) as compared to Snapchat.

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