POV: Snapchat ‘Cameo’ Puts Your Face into GIFs

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By Krishan Majithia, Account Director, FAST, Paid Social

Snap has announced the launch of ‘Cameos’ – a new feature allowing users to insert their face in GIFs, which can then be shared with friends.

Details and Implications:
With users continuing to create, edit and consume bite sized video through social platforms, the platforms themselves are keen to increase the stickiness of their platforms by enabling the creation of these videos with ever more sophisticated tools.

Snap’s latest release – Cameos – leans on the platforms innovative AR features and enables anyone within the platform to take an existing video or image with a face and replace that face with their likeness, using machine learning. Cameos’ simplified face placement system makes it possible for users to share an emotion or reaction via Snap messages in a new and exciting way and enables a sort of peer-to-peer deep-fakery.

The tool was released in a test version to French users last week and will roll out globally soon, featuring 150 different preset innocuous GIFs and it is anticipated it may become widely adopted as a key method of communication within the platform – undoubtedly also providing an opportunity for avid users and content creators to generate their own versions over time.

Snap has a long history of leading its competitive set in the area of product innovation and the introduction of Cameo is yet another exciting USP for the platform – the question is then whether it will open up the same innovation to brands looking to use the tools for advertising and move them away from routine image and video in-feed advertising.

The feature will be another attempt to keep users on the platform and also wrestle them back from the likes of Instagram or TikTok and solidify Snaps position as the video-first creative medium, as well as maintaining the relevancy of its messaging feature in the face of direct competition from the likes of WhatsApp.

Branded Cameo content from businesses, in the same way as sponsored Lenses, will provide advertisers an exciting and innovative way to connect even closer with consumers. From initial reports of the tool, potential usages could include augmented experiences for live events and holidays or to help visualise a product, with beauty and fashion seeming like strong access points.

Whilst we anticipate the release of more information around the potential advertising opportunities with the launch of ‘Cameos’, it will be interesting to see how the product develops over the coming quarter particularly surrounding user and brand safety in light of the wealth of negative adoptions of deepfake technology.

Snap / Techcrunch / Engadget / USA Today