The copied has become the copier.
Snapchat, whose features Facebook and others have spent years duplicating, is changing things up a bit by borrowing a new from a competitor. The app introduced a new “Lens Challenge” feature that lets users share interactive lip syncing videos similar to those on TikTok.
The new feature is built on Snapchat’s augmented reality lens platform. People can access “challenges” by unlocking the corresponding lens in the app or via Discover. You can then create your own lip sync video, complete with animated AR effects, and share it to a themed “Our Story.” The Our Story will highlight user-submitted videos for each challenge.
The first Lens Challenge will feature Gwen Stefani’s “Jingle Bells,” but Snap plans to let lens creators make their own “challenges” as well.
The company is likely hoping the feature will spur some of the high engagement and viral moments that TikTok has seen over the last year. The app, which absorbed Musical.ly earlier this year, is incredibly popular among teens.
If Snap could emulate even some of that app’s success, it would be an important win for the company. Snap, which has been battling near-constant pressure from Facebook and fallout from an unpopular redesign, has seen its popularity among teens fall and user growth stall.
Snap isn’t the only company that’s tried to capitalize on TikTok’s success. Facebook has also released its own version, a dedicated app called Lasso.