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Microsoft Teams adds Snapchat AR Lenses to video chats

That's one way to jazz up your next conference call.

Screenshot of a Microsoft Teams call, showing users with Snapchat Lenses enabled. One has cat ears, while another has a Minecraft background and a chicken on their head. Other users are shown with a sloth and teddy bear hugging them.
Kris Holt
Kris Holt|@krisholt|April 10, 2023 12:30 PM

Microsoft and Snap have teamed up to bring Snapchat Lenses to Teams. The next time you hop onto a call with colleagues or friends, you'll be able to pick from one of 26 popular Lenses to add some visual flair to your video chats. You'll be able to turn yourself into a cartoon character, add virtual snow and slap a variety of backgrounds onto your webcam feed. That said, it's probably best to make sure you don't accidentally leave a Lens on during more serious conversations. 

Snap and Microsoft say the library of Lenses will rotate to keep things fresh. You can switch on a Lens in Teams by selecting the Video Effects option, then Snapchat. The Lenses will slowly roll out to everyone starting today. Most users should have access to them in Teams in the coming days.

The companies tapped into Snap's Camera Kit (a software development kit) to bring the latter's augmented reality tech to Teams. Microsoft previously used Camera Kit to add Snap's AR features to its video learning platform, Flip, where educators try to kickstart video discussions among students by providing them with prompts. According to Snap, since Microsoft added the integration to Flip, teachers and students have been 60 percent more likely to post videos to the platform.

Snap used to have its own desktop app that enabled folks to use Lenses on third-party video calling services. However, the company shut down the app, Snap Camera, earlier this year.

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Microsoft Teams adds Snapchat AR Lenses to video chats