Snapchat is, for the first time, bringing its camera outside of its mobile app.
The company just released a dedicated desktop app, called Snap Camera, which lets people use its signature augmented reality selfie lenses inside of other desktop apps. Snap is also partnering with Twitch, so streamers can use Snapchat lenses while they’re streaming.
Snap Camera can be selected as a camera output in OBS Skype, YouTube, Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom and more, plus browser-based apps like Facebook Live so you can browse through Snapchat’s Lens Explorer to try on AR face filters. And through its easily equipped new Twitch extension, streamers can trigger different masks with hotkeys. You can download the Mac and Windows versions of Snap Camera now. Users can use Lens Explorer to preview effects and see who made them, Star their favorites for easy access and access a tab of your recently used Lenses.
It’s no secret that Snapchat, Snap Inc’s flagship product, has been struggling since the company went public in 2017. According to CEO Evan Spiegel, Snapchat lost 3 million daily users during the second quarter of 2018, though Snap Inc. seems to have figured out a way to make money despite that, as it announced on Thursday in its Q3 2018 earnings report. That’s probably a big reason why Snap isn’t forcing Snap Camera users to have a Snapchat account, though it will offer a way to create one directly from it if they wish. “[We] want to put something out there that, first and foremost, is making it as simple as possible for a new community to access Snapchat Lenses,” Eitan Pilipski, vice president of Camera Platform at Snap.
It’s the latest in a series of updates the company has made to expand its content beyond its app over the last year. The company has also opened up publicly shared “Our Stories so media companies can publish them on their sites, and users can share Stories outside of the app as well.
Now, Snap is looking to bring another of its most important features — its popular augmented reality effects — to people who may not be regular users of the Snapchat app.