Instagrammers can start creating AR filters and effects on the photo-sharing site using the Spark AR tool kit that is now in public beta.

Popular filters such as the puppy ears and sparkling filters on Instagram stories offer users a fun and interactive way to reach out to their audience and followers using augmented reality. Since this trend won't likely go away anytime soon, Instagram is leveling up its AR game by giving the public access to its AR developer tools.

Public Access To AR Functionality

Spark AR that is responsible for almost every AR function across Facebook’s products has been previously shared with select Instagram users in closed beta. Existing filters, stickers, overlays, and effects featured on Instagram have all been built-in. By making the developer platform more accessible, Facebook is hoping that the AR functionality will allow for even greater creativity.

In 2018, more than 1 billion people have used the Spark AR platform, with hundreds of millions using AR each month across Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram apps. During its F8 Developers Conference early this year, Facebook said it wants to expand the community of creators and developers who are building with the Spark AR Studio.

How To Access AR Platform?

To create custom augmented reality filters and effects, users must first download the free Spark AR Studio on MacOS or Windows. To access user-made filters on Instagram, users can scroll down to the end of the filter tray in Stories, and click the "Browse More Effects" option.

Clicking on the button will open a new interface that lists down all the effects available. Filters are based on specific types or topics of the effects. After a preview of the filter or effect appears, tap on "Try it" to enable the design, or save the filter on a device for later use. Spark AR Studio is also easy to use and allows drag-and-drop functionality for creating and publishing filters on the site.

Instagram will also introduce a new Effects Gallery that will enable the sharing of user-created filters with friends and followers. A small tag at the bottom of the filter will make sure that original creators get full credit for their work even if the AR filters or effects go viral. Users can also follow the work of their favorite creators.

Last year, Snapchat also opened access to its Lens Studio and created the Lens Explorer to make it easier to find user-made AR lenses.

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