Written by Naini Gupta, Vivian Tan and Lee Ai Yun.

Snapchat’s AR feature brings more world-famous landmarks to life.

Snap is taking its augmented reality tools to a much bigger canvas. The company boosts Lens Studio, their desktop app, with a collection of new features: new Landmarker templates, more facial lens templates, and an interactive tour for first-time users.

As true AR goes, the new Landmarker templates are perhaps the most compelling. They are a set of lenses aimed at bringing new life to some of the world’s most famous locations.


They provide creators with examples of how real-world locations can be augmented with digital content; the assets can then be customized for current locations or adapted for use at other places. As for regular Snapchat users, they’ll be able to apply these whimsical effects on more iconic landmarks around the world: France, at Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, Egypt, at the Great Sphinx of Giza, United States, at the Statue of Liberty etc

On top of that, Snap added six new Lens templates to their existing collection. These templates allow the addition of a live face on video, live customized particle effects to the background, countdown timer to celebrate with 3D hats and glasses, options to visualize multiplied body parts, and an AR hair & make-up feature that changes hair colour and adds make-up to your face. They are also creating an interactive tour of the app that can help first-time users to get started. 

Snapchat has deepened its footprint in the AR creative and marketing spaces with over 500,000 Lenses created since the launch of the Lens Studio in late 2017.

Facebook may be removing Like counts too

Reverse engineering master, Jane Manchun Wong, spotted a code inside Facebook’s Android app that hides the exact amount of likes on a post from everyone but the original poster. Feeling a sense of deja vu? That’s because Instagram started testing hiding like counts in this exact same way earlier this year.  

It looks like the social giant is determined to relieve the competitive pressure on users and dissuade them from self-censorship. If this update goes live, Facebook posts will no longer show the number of likes or reactions. The creator of the post will still be able to scroll through the list of people who reacted to his/her post, but there won’t be a numeric figure.

Right now, it’s unclear if this update will ever be made public. Nonetheless, the prototype test indicates that social networks are slowly adapting to growing mental health concerns.

Mobile screen sharing could be available on Facebook Messenger soon

Following Skype’s announcement that mobile screen sharing will be launched for Android and iOS back in June, Facebook seems to be testing this similar feature on the Messenger app. 

This new feature was spotted in the Messenger app by Jane Manchun Wong where she described in her tweet that the new feature is something “like Watch Together” but it “ascends beyond contents available on Facebook,”. This means that friends on Facebook can now share their mobile screens with each other, not just their Facebook feed alone.

You can try out this test feature by simply clicking on the “Share Your Screen Together” button on the video/audio call screen in Messenger. When the feature is activated, your phone’s camera will be switched off and the members of in your video chat will be able to see the contents on your phone screen. This test feature is likely a key step taken by Facebook in the direction to move from the public to a private space through private sharing and the creation of online spaces for this purpose. Either way, this feature was already introduced by Facebook two years ago on the Workplace chat and so, this new feature may very well become reality in the near future on Messenger.