Snapchat today issued a refresh to its iPhone and iPod touch app in the App Store that enables a new software feature on your front-facing camera: Lenses. “Before you take a selfie, press and hold on your face for a surprise,” the startup teased.
Lenses are essentially animated effects that can be applied in real-time when taking a selfie, similar to Apple’s Photo Booth app on the Mac.
One new Lens will rotate in every day.
In addition to Lenses, Snapchat also rolled out virtual Trophies and announced plans to start charging $0.99 for three Replays.
Lenses are initially built in-house but Snapchat is planning on opening them up to third-party developers in the future. TechCrunch has put together a nice little animation showing Lenses in action, check it out below.
“When in Selfie mode, Snapchat will detect their faces, and users can then tap and swipe to add little overlaid graphics that let them puke rainbows, turn into monsters, and more,” explains the publication.
The following Lenses are available starting today:
Heart Eyes—Lift your eyebrows and hearts shoot out of your eyes.
Terminator—The screen becomes a robot’s heads up display, and lifting your eyebrows triggers a “DANGER” alert.
Puke Rainbows—Open your mouth and a flood of rainbows drools out.
Old—Wrinkles appear on your face and raising your eyebrow adds a monocle.
Scary—Open your mouth and the screen goes black-and-white, and your face becomes demonic.
Rage Face—Open your mouth and the screen zooms in, your eyes go googly, and mouth expands.
Heart Avalanche—Open your mouth and a pile of hearts fall on you.
More Lenses will be added over time, as per the Snapchat team. As mentioned, one Lens will be added and one removed each day so there’ll always be something new to play with.
Will you pay for Snapchat’s most important new feature?
The firm is betting that die-hard fans won’t mind paying to replay disappearing snaps, but many angered fans who beg to differ took to Twitter to vent their frustration publicly.
The whole point of the internet is to NOT PAY for anything. GL@Snapchat
— Leilani Pips™ (@PipsToDollars) September 15, 2015
Regardless, that’s how Snapchat hopes to monetize its loyal fans.
Starting today, users of Snapchat in the United States can purchase extra Replays as In-App Purchases: three for $0.99, ten for $2.99 and twenty for $4.99. They even had the nerve to acknowledge that at these prices replays are in fact “a little pricey.”
“You can use a Replay on any Snap you receive, but you can only Replay any Snap once,” added the firm.
But Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was unfazed as far back as this summer by the possibility of uproar stemming from introducing paid features.
“We think we can build really cool stuff people want to pay for,” he told TechCrunch back then. “The app is now a part of everyone’s day-to-day lives. That means that they will — I at least would — pay for a more unique experience.”
So, paid Replays are here, but will you take the bait?
In addition to paid-for Replays and Lenses, this edition of Snapchat includes a brand new Trophies feature for virtual rewards and stickers based on your usage of the app.
In one example, sending ten Snaps with your front-facing flash on unlocks a sticker. All trophies are listed on a dedicated page within the app, with a tiny icon turning yellow when a new one has been gifted. Users will also received push notifications when new trophies are received.
Snapchat, a 66-megabyte download, requires an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 7.0 or later. iPads aren’t natively supported in Snapchat as of yet.
The app is localized in English, Arabic, Bokmål, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese and Turkish.