The Ultimate Guide to Spark AR Studio for Instagram

How Businesses Can Use Spark AR Effects for Instagram

There are many reasons why AR can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses — but one of the biggest has to do with freedom of creativity.

When it comes to AR, the world really is your oyster!

There are countless applications for the technology:  cosmetics brands can use AR to let their followers virtually “try on” makeup, furniture brands can use AR to show what their products would look like in people’s homes, and fashion brands can use AR to create virtual fitting rooms, allowing people to try on shirts, sunglasses, or entire outfits to see how it fits their shape and style.

There’s also something to be said about the emotional value of AR. By creating these kinds of AR experiences where people can “try” products, businesses might have an easier time building a personalized connection with customers — which could also help drive more purchases!

Plus, Instagram is now baking this feature into the app! The platform is beta testing a new feature that will allow brands to add AR effects to their product pages.

With the new Spark AR integration, users will be able to virtually “try” products before making a purchase in the app.

The feature is currently being tested with just a few brands, including Warby Parker and Ray-Bans, but we’re hoping they open it up to more brands in the near future!

Of course, your goal with AR doesn’t necessarily have to be about sales! Businesses also have a lot to gain from simply sharing creative and engaging AR effects that people like to use.

Take Adidas, for example. With vintage filters and retro-looking photos trending big this year, Adidas Originals decided to create a custom AR effect that adds a nostalgic VHS look to your stories, including a “glitch” effect.

This custom AR effect is super shareable and very on-trend, so it’s perfect for building brand awareness!

Instagram used to have a unique system for locking filters (you had to follow the creator first). As a result, many of the designers who were part of Spark AR’s beta program gained tens of thousands of followers after sharing their custom filters on Instagram Stories.

The process for unlocking custom AR effects is slightly different now — especially now that Instagram has introduced their new Effects Gallery, which makes it easier to discover unique filters from the creator community!

Now when you visit a creator’s profile, you’ll find a new effects tab above their feed where you can browse (and access) all of the AR effects they created. We’ll explain more about this below! 

Here are some other ways that businesses can use Spark AR Studio to create branded experiences on Instagram Stories:

#1: AR Effects for Online Shopping

As successful as Instagram has been in creating a shopping environment on Instagram (including some new shopping features coming in 2019), some products just can’t be adequately described with photos or video.

Take Kylie Cosmetics. And early adopter of AR on Instagram, when you select Kylie Cosmetic’s AR effect on Instagram Stories, you can “try on” different lipsticks from Kylie’s Lip Kits (like Candy K and Glitz) to see which shade best suits your skin tone before making a purchase.

This is a perfect example of how businesses can use custom AR effects on Instagram. Not only are Kylie’s filters fun to use, but they’re also low-key promotional and super helpful if you’re actually looking to purchase the product.

One brand that’s already made some noise with AR is streetwear label Off-White. Ahead of last year’s Paris Fashion Week, Off-White rolled out an effect that allowed users to “try on” sunglasses from their collection, as well as adding other effects, like Off-White’s famous branded quotation marks.

#2: AR Effects for Publishers

Like ecommerce brands, publishers have a lot to gain from creating their own AR effects for Instagram — and we’re already seeing some do it!

Take Buzzfeed Tasty for example. The ultra-popular food channel jumped into the AR arena last year, creating their own branded effect for Instagram Stories. When you select the effect, the slogan “Oh Yes!” floats and twirls on your screen.

What’s great about this effect is that it can be used in multiple contexts. For example, if you’re sharing a photo or video of a meal you made, you can use it to give yourself funny self-congratulations.

But you don’t even have to use it for food — it’s generic enough to fit all kinds of cases (this is actually one of the best practices we’ll discuss a little later in this post)!

#3: AR Effects for Causes

Last year, Rihanna created her own sparkly AR effect to promote the Diamond Ball and Clara Lionel Foundation. When selected, the effect adds a diamond headpiece to your selfie.

This is a great example of how businesses can use AR effects to raise awareness for causes they and their audience care about.

For example, an eco-friendly cleaning supply company could create an AR effect for Earth Day or another environmental holiday. Likewise, a fashion brand like Levi’s that supports water conservation could create an effect that sheds light on the issue.

Ready to jump in and create your own Instagram Stories filter for your brand? Check out our guide to help you get started with Spark AR Studio!

Source:, originally published on 2021-08-26 08:45:10