I have recently found an interesting read on The Atlantic. It described something that all of us, willingly or unwillingly, became immersed into during the lockdowns in wherever we are on the planet. Augmented Reality (AR) has become a huge part of our lives and it exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
AR has been gaining momentum way before March 2020. However, recently all of us were locked in our apartments, facing the same walls, people and routines for months. AR came to rescue.
Instagram was one of the platforms that offered a wast array of special effects on stories that made us into fruits, babies, drag queens, celebrities and anything you could think of. Zoom (video teleconferencing platform) has also another space where we were able to attend meetings from the beach, a fancy meeting room or a historical site.
All this created illusion that we are OK, that things are normal.
Before the pandemic, all these AR-effects were a novelty; few people were using them. However, today, they take a big (if not major) part of our lives.
I scroll through my Instagram stories, I barely see of my friends using natural video or posts. The vast majority of them are with augmented-reality effects. It is a new normal, because it’s fun and unconventional.
Instagram noticed the trend and used it very well. People were bored, they had barely anything to do after work, there was no space to create content (restaurants closed for food bloggers, travel bloggers cannot travel, etc.) people just stopped producing “the usual” content. This lead to a new wave of effects that made us all forget the pandemic, the fact that we are all stranded at home and the boredom that we are in.
The accounts that were the fastest were indeed the ones that produced engaging AR content to their audiences. Due to the pandemic, a new wave of Instafamous were born.
The good thing is that people got used to AR thus no way it’s going anywhere even once the pandemic is over. Augmented reality became a big part of our lives and it will only develop and grow further — beyond crazy Instagram effects.
I believe this is going to be a huge hit and the upcoming marketing trend. Brands should be ready to utilise the AR space for advertising and connect with their consumers on a personal level. AR gives space to be creative, innovative and reach customers in a less invasive way. Think Pokemon Go, only where your brand could directly talk to a consumer based on where they are, what they do and what kind of content they are interested in.
Exciting times ahead!