Snapchat wants you to apply its crazy new lenses to the world around you

Snapchat wants you to start using your phone’s rear camera instead of just snapping selfies all the time. Determined to not let a little thing like the election get in the way of your throwaway visuals, the app dropped a major update on Tuesday that lets you apply a bunch of new graphics to the world around you.

Snapchat’s World Lenses are available on both iOS and Android. Like regular lenses, they boast a bunch of silly, augmented reality graphics. To access the new lenses, simply switch to your front-facing camera within Snapchat and tap the screen — as you would with the selfie’s lense. Then, scroll through the circular tiles at the bottom of the screen to apply the lenses to your surroundings.

Some require a tad bit more effort than others, instructing you to move your phone and tap the graphic on the screen to create the effect. Interestingly, one of the new lenses matches the style transfers offered by the Prisma app, which is coming soon to Facebook Live. Several world lenses are currently available and, chances are, Snapchat will update the selection going forward.

The update also brings with it some other features, including support for Spectacles — Snapchat’s upcoming video-recording glasses. A new Spectacles section within “my account” lets you pair your app with the glasses — which has not been released yet — using a snapcode (Snapchat’s version of a QR code), as reported by Mashable. Does this mean Spectacles are about to be released? Will they also take advantage of the world lenses feature? How annoyed will your friends and family be when you start invading their privacy using your new video-recording sunglasses? These are just some of the questions we are likely to get the answers to soon.

That’s not all, folks. The whopping update also includes the ability to add lenses to your face during video chat — although we are not entirely sure how many people use Snapchat to make video calls over, say, Apple FaceTime or Facebook Messenger. Additionally, you can now poach snaps from stories and Discover channels to share with friends by holding down on the image or video. The Snapchat update (version 9.43) is available for iOS and Android.


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