YouTube will soon let users try on makeup while watching popular makeup tutorials through augmented reality. Known as AR Beauty Try-On, viewers will be able to actually “try on” the makeup products the online tutorials are showcasing and promoting.
MAC Cosmetics is the first to partner with FameBit for this new feature that will offer realistic product samples that will work on a variety of skin tones. After seeing what different samples and shades would look like on their face, viewers can then purchase the sample they want by clicking through to the makeup brand’s website. Google announced the new feature on Tuesday, and said it would roll out to brands, advertisers and viewers this summer.
This is a big deal for the beauty vloggers of YouTube as brands continue to team up with top influencers known for makeup tutorials and reviews. Last year, beauty-related videos on YouTube had over 169 million views. The more successful beauty vloggers have millions of subscribers, like Yuya who has more than 23 million followers and Jeffree Star who has more than 15 million.
While beauty tech isn’t anything new, bringing augmented reality to the beauty industry could change the game for online shoppers. Brands that partner with the AR Beauty Try-On will be able to tap into these successful beauty vloggers’ campaigns quicker and track their results in real time.
For viewers, the new feature essentially lets you try before you buy — if you see a particular makeup being used in a video, just turn on AR Beauty Try-On and you can see if it works on your face. The feature will work in the existing YouTube app, so it looks like it will be fairly easy to use.
Sponsored content not only helps the brands make money, but the YouTubers also cash in from partnerships with brands. Jeffree Star reportedly made an estimated $18 million from brand partnerships last year.
Brands are also tapping into the success of influencers on other social platforms like Instagram for sponsored content. Just earlier this month, Instagram announced that influencers will be able to post branded content ads that go beyond their own follower count in order to reach a broader range of users.
Similar to the YouTube’s upcoming Beauty Try-On strategy, Instagram allows users to click through posts to purchase the products you see in the photos on your feed or in Instagram stories.
While content like this is in fact a form of advertising, it can be less obvious to users of social media if it engages user experience and blends into the platform while doing so. There’s also lots of other applications for AR on YouTube, especially as it gets more advanced. The next logical step? “Trying on” clothes from the comfort of your home.
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