Snapchat's latest custom Lenses are designed for dancing videos

Artists can now create Snapchat Lenses with full body tracking.


Snap has updated its Lens Studio platform so artists and developers can create custom Lenses — the company’s term for AR experiences — that leverage full body tracking. Snapchat’s maker has created two templates, Full Body Triggers and Full Body Attachments, that can conjure up various effects based on what the user is doing inside the frame. As a tutorial video explains, these include toggling virtual objects, playing short pieces of animation and particle bursts. Before, developers could use a Skeletal template to track eight points on the upper body. The new templates, meanwhile, can monitor 18 points including the user’s knees and ankles.

There's an obvious application for these new developer tools: dance videos. The genre has always been popular across various social platforms including YouTube and Instagram. TikTok's monumental rise, however, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic -- which has forced many to stay indoors and find new ways to entertain themselves -- has encouraged people to create even more body-grooving clips. It's no surprise, therefore, that Snapchat wants to support the trend with new artist and developer tools. If you don’t want to download and learn Lens Studio, fear not: Snapchat has already released four creator-made Lenses -- Star Burst, Be You, Alone and Be Happy -- that you can try right now in the app.

The Lens Studio update follows a long period of slow but steady growth for the company. Snapchat had 238 million daily active users last quarter, up 35 million year-over-year and nine million higher than the previous quarter. The company has quietly improved Spectacles, launched an app platform called Snap Minis and responded to rivals like TikTok by brokering deals with music labels and allowing users to share their Stories on other platforms. It hasn't all been smooth sailing, though. The company released yet another insensitive filter -- this time telling people to "smile and break the chains" -- for Juneteenth a couple of months back. Following user backlash, the overlay was pulled and Snapchat issued an apology.