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The Rise of The AR Influencer (and who you should follow)

March 11, 2020

Instagram and Snapchat’s augmented reality communities have been brimming with creativity for some time now. The creator community really began to take off in fall 2019, when Facebook gave all users (not just select partners) access to publishing AR filters on Instagram and Facebook. Over the past six months, new stars, leaders and dare we say it… influencers are appearing with growing cross-platform audiences. Camera IQ is empowering brands to create AR experiences and build social audiences like these influencers (albeit with their brand identity and voice). That’s why we think it’s important to be aware of them and understand their work. 

We define AR creators as digital artists who have a masterful grasp of filter and lens creation. Their profiles showcase weekly, sometimes daily AR world and face lenses. Here are some you should keep an eye on….

The Beauty Queen @alexandra_kisa

Alexandra’s filters often feature skin retouching, freckles, and a cute image superimposed on the user’s cheeks. Her massive success (1.4 million followers and counting!) is likely due to two factors. First, she is incredibly prolific, with 34 filters to date and a new filter each week. Alexandra also knows that the key to success is making an effect that subtly enhances the user’s beauty or lets them express themselves. The combination of retouching and art is unique enough for her filters to stand out, which is likely why they are constantly being used by celebrities — in fact, at the time of writing this, Kylie Jenner has an Alexandra filter on her story.

The Meme Maker @autonommy

Ommy Akhe is one of the breakout stars of this first generation of AR creators, with her fun and topical filters earning her an in-depth profile at The Verge. Akhe’s filters showcase social AR’s ability to rapidly comment on and contribute to meme culture (something we always stress with our clients at Camera IQ). Her popular filters recreating vintage Windows 95 desktops or playing off of viral astrology app Co-Star’s aggressive notifications are proof that users love using AR to share their sense of humor.

The AR Auteur @davidoreilly

If any creator has shown the opportunity of social AR as burgeoning art form, it’s David O’Reilly. O’Reilly has a lengthy pre-AR career as a digital creator (he’s perhaps most famous for creating the video games in Spike Jonze’s Her). His AR filter “It’s Always You” broke out in a completely new way, with hundreds of millions of impressions – birthing a new category of “weird AR”. He’s since teased new filters, including a full-length movie via Instagram filter. We can’t wait to see what he does next.

The Curator vs the Creator

It would be remiss to not mention another new category of AR influencer, the AR Curator. These individuals trawl the platforms for the best, most surprising and innovative uses of social AR. Think of them as digital gallery owners: they have massive influence, catapulting a lens or creator from obscurity to a social phenomenon.  Amongst their followers you can find traditional influencers and celebrities who use the curators channels to stay up to date and relevant with the latest effects. 

@Lens.list, @Face.effects and @instamask are a few of our favorites 🙂  

Why Follow?

The Camera and AR are at the heart of Gen Z’s digital experience. These Creators and Curators are at the vanguard of digital expression and innovation. As a digital marketer, it’s a fast and easy way to stay connected to an audience and the cutting edge of AR creation and usage. Camera IQ stays glued to these channels as they provide a fascinating insight into the forms of expression and content your customers could be creating in collaboration with your brand or product…. they’re also just really cool.

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