Snapchat Gets 3D Messaging Feature

Snapchat Gets 3D Messaging Feature

Snap’s 3D messaging feature lets users place cartoon images into their pictures and videos. © Snap, Inc.

Venice Beach, CA—Snap unveiled a feature for its Snapchat messaging app that enables users to place 3D cartoon objects into their fleeting videos and pictures. Snap’s 3D lens technology changes and shifts in response to objects. It’s similar to the augmented reality used with the wildly popular Pokemon Go game that overlays digital images on the physical world.

In its blog, Snap announced it added colorful “Lenses” more than a year ago to provide more creative expression. The Lenses are images its users can superimpose on selfies. With this latest Snapchat feature, app users can “find new Lenses that can paint the world around you with new 3D experiences,” the Snap blog stated.

The addition of the new feature is seen as part of Snap’s effort to remain relevant as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and the like have adopted Snapchat Stories evanescent imitations. The entry of other brands into what was once unique to Snap has been worrisome for the company. And its share price has fallen dramatically since its IPO earlier this year. New features are seen as a way to attract more and younger users and thus bolster its advertiser base.


Snapchat is an image messaging and multimedia mobile app. It was created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown—former students of Stanford University—in 2011. The company was riginally branded Snapchat Inc. It changed its name to Snap, Inc., in 2016. Its principal concept is that pictures and messages created by its users are only available for a short time before they become inaccessible.

Beginning as Picaboo, Snapchat was at first centered on private, person-to-person photo sharing. Features, including the ability to send short videos, were continually added and the app gathered more and more users. By November 2015, its users were sending six billion videos daily. And in May 2016 it boasted nearly 10 million daily users. The company was renamed in September 2016 when it also debuted is Spectacles smartglasses with a built-in camera.