The latest Snapchat update adds new features for augmented reality overlays in any scene, not tracked to the face. The feature is called World Lenses, and works best with the main camera, and not the selfie shooter. There is a snow effect, a sparkling environment where clouds vomit rainbows, yellow butterflies and a fountain of exploding hearts. The butterflies and hearts move in the vertical orientation no matter how the phone is held, so these Lenses do not work well in the landscape mode.
Some of the Lenses require users to look all around to find some objects. The clouds that vomit rainbows can only be seen if you turn your camera upward. Once the cloud starts vomiting a rainbow and its eyes cycle through colours, users can follow the rainbow downwards to find it ending in a white splash. If you look around in the snow environment, you will find a walrus levitating above the word Chillin’. For users in the United States, there is a Vote World Lens that shoots out red, white and blue stars from an air horn.
After the Facebook copying spree in the desperation to own a Snapchat like app, the tables have turned in this update. Snapchat has borrowed a direct messaging feature that Instagram introduced back in 2013, called Instagram Direct. Long pressing on a snap allows users to reshare the snap with their contacts. The shared snaps appear in chat to initiate a conversation.
The World Lenses can be activated with a long tap anywhere on the screen. A new interface change allows users to navigate to the previous menu with a tap on the left side of the screen. The Lenses for faces can now be applied with a single tap on the face in selfie mode. The update is live and available to users on Android and iOS.