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Snapchat wants you to build its next dancing hotdog

Snap is opening up its AR platform to everyone.

An augmented reality dancing hotdog on a computer screen Snapchat

Snap is opening up its augmented reality platform to everyone on Thursday. That means anyone with some graphic design and Photoshop skills can now create AR features for Snapchat’s camera.

It could be something as basic as a photo frame that users can add around their photos, or something as complicated as a hotdog that’s break dancing on your kitchen table. (Remember the dancing hotdog?)

Face lenses, the popular face-distorting feature that turns people into a taco or a zombie, are still just reserved for advertisers, though you may see more of those as well. That’s because Snap is lowering the cost of promoted face lenses. Snap used to require that advertisers spend a minimum of $300,000 over a 12-month period to promote a face lens. That minimum purchase price is now gone, which means advertisers with smaller budgets can buy AR ads inside Snapchat too, an attempt to entice more advertisers to spend with the company.

The hope with all of this AR software is that developers will start building features for Snapchat’s camera and give users more incentive to open the Snapchat app and take photos or videos.

Snap is not the only social app pushing augmented reality features onto its users. In fact, Facebook opened its own augmented reality platform to the masses just this week. (Probably not a coincidence.) Apple and Google are also getting into augmented reality, building AR features directly into the phones that people buy.

Snap is by far the smallest company out of that group, but it has some benefits that the others might not. Unlike Apple and Google, Snap’s AR features should work regardless of whether someone is using Snapchat on an Android or iPhone, for example. And unlike Facebook, Snap’s camera is the focal point of the entire app. Its audience is smaller, but its AR features are pretty core to the Snapchat experience, not a secondary feature like they are on Facebook.

Snap claims that a third of its daily users — roughly 70 million people — interact with an AR feature inside the app every single day. That’s a lot of dancing hotdogs.

This article originally appeared on

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