Snap, the company behind the teen favorite Snapchat is making a play for the desktop market with its latest solution. Called Snap Camera, the product is rolling out today to Windows 10 and Mac. The most interesting thing about Snap Camera is it places Snapchat's funky camera features onto third-party services, such as Microsoft's Skype.
Users on services like YouTube, Skype, and Twitch can now integrate SnapChat features through the Snap Camera. This means the company's various lenses and filters are accessible. Essentially this places Snapchat's fun-friendly, teen/kid-appealing features onto any video, even in business situations.
Of course, you probably won't want to show up for your next online job interview with a dog filter. Still, the introduction of Snap Camera has wider implications for Snap as a company. It shows a clear ambition to become a part of the lives of everyday users.
Snap Camera is available for download at its official webpage. Once installed, the solution can be selected as your camera output in a desktop application, such as Skype. Snap says there are thousands of lenses available. These filters come from Snap developers and third-party creations from the community.
There is certainly plenty to choose from as Snap says it now has 250,000 lenses from third-parties alone.
“We're trying to find new distribution channels for those creators to surface their work,” said Eitan Pilipski, Snap's head of camera platform. “We think this a very unique opportunity, bringing Snapchat AR experiences to the desktop.”
Rather importantly, there is no requirement for a Snapchat account to use the service. That's important, simply because many people do not want to use Snapchat and won't be forced to here. More interesting is the fact Snap seems to be keeping the two services separate. That means there is not even a link to Snapchat within the camera app.
Some may say Snap Camera is an effort for Snap to stay relevant. The company's popular Stories feature for Snapchat was broadsided by Facebook when it introduces its own Stories ability in Messenger and other services.
Snapchat still enjoys 186 million users per day, but the company admitted it has lost 2 million users over the last quarter. So, Snap is now putting a lot of faith in Snap Camera becoming a success.
“As we're launching this product, we think it's such a huge thing for us,” Pilipski said. “It's going to shape our roadmap in ways that we really don't understand right now.”
To find out more about Snap Camera, check out this official guide.