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Starting last week Snapchat released mini customizable virtual characters. You can access the virtual characters through the phones rear facing camera.
The virtual avatar app, Bitmoji, acquired $64 million last year. Snapchat Inc. hopes this will open a door to Augmented Reality (AR). Augmented Reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. “More than a third of Snapchat’s 173 million daily active users interact with its AR camera filters, dubbed lenses, every day, according to the company.” (Alex Heath from Business Insiders). Snapchat first introduced the geofilter back in 2015 and then added the World Lenses this year, 2017.
Snap started hiring performance artists and animators to design the 3D characters. Snapchat requires users to download the original app called Bitmoji. Bitmoji is the app that lets users create their customizable virtual character.
They have yet to make money off of Bitmoji, and it’s unclear if that is their intentions.