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TikTok Is Inviting Developers To Try Out Its New AR Features, Under The Name Of The TikTok Effect Studio

TikTok is launching a new toolset by the name of TikTok Effect Studio, with the aim of providing the assets needed by users to create their own AR experiences.

Extended Reality, one a rather niche online gimmick, is gaining a lot of traction across social media platforms. Perhaps the best example of AR technology being effectively harnessed by social media comes from Snapchat. Team Snap's used AR to much success and positive user feedback, with a highlight of the technology's incorporation being a deal struck with Walmart. Via the AR technology, users could essentially "try on" and/or buy all of the different accessories and clothing items on sale, without even having to leave the comfort of their home. This proved to be a rather effective marketing strategy, one that was only further aided by lockdown regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since Snapchat's users couldn't really go out, much less buy clothes, the opportunity to both try out and buy items with ease was appreciated. Notably, Facebook's also tried its hand at AR, and has upcoming projects and ventures related to the technology with its Spark project.

TikTok, primarily being a video based platform, is the perfect setting for any number of AR experiments. That's probably why its devs (developers) are investing in the Effect Studio, allowing its community to get in on the action as well. Recently a website domain, effecthouse.tiktok.com, has gone online. The website, asking users to sign in with their TikTok accounts, invites developers of all sorts to sign up for a private session of beta testing. Interested devs can sign up with their TikTok account data, then providing information on their developing background (i.e. employing company, position, prior experience with AR). The website even ventures to ask its users whether they rely on PCs or Macs, meaning that we could be seeing the Effect House on desktops sooner rather than later.

While TikTok's attempts at butting into the AR scene are expected, they come at a very competitive point for the industry. Snap has recently invested a USD $3.5 million fund, all of it dedicated towards the development of the Snapchat AR Lens. Facebook's afore-mentioned Spark platform has passed 600,000 creators on the platform, across 190 countries, making it a rather challenging effort to provide any competition. However, TikTok's own dedicated userbase is not easily underestimated. With the short form video sharing app's continual success and mainstream relevancy, and a few right steps in AR technology, there might just be a special place carved out for TikTok in the technology and its features.


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