The Ultimate Spark AR Crash Course

July 25 2022

Thousands of augmented reality projects have been brought to life by Facebook’s Spark AR (Facebook has been renamed to Meta). Content creators can appeal to a larger audience with interactive AR experiences. For brands and digital marketers, Spark AR is a disruptive marketing approach for strengthening brand awareness across the different content channels on Meta and Instagram.

However the AR creation platform isn’t the only tool out there. There’s fierce competition from TikTok — AR Effect House, Snapchat — Snap AR, and Niantic Lightship.

Table of contents

What is Spark AR?

Spark AR Studio is an augmented reality platform from Meta that allows users to create immersive experiences and effects. Users can experiment with different filters and effects on Spark AR and upload it on Facebook/Meta or Instagram platform.

Spark AR

Spark AR Studio, Spark AR Hub, Spark AR Player: How are They Different?

If you looked up Spark AR, your search results probably alternate between Spark AR Studio, Spark AR Hub, and Spark AR Player. How exactly do these three differ?

Spark AR Studio

Your Spark AR Studio is the main development platform for Meta and Instagram’s AR experiences. Without any coding experience needed, users can build immersive effects and filters from scratch. These effects can range from promotional stickers, expressive face filters, and more.

Spark AR Studio is free to download on Windows and Mac. Currently, it only supports the English language. Click here to download Spark AR Studio and build your very first AR experience.

Source: infusory.in/

Spark AR Hub

On the other hand, Spark AR Hub is the management system that Spark AR creators use to keep track of their effects’ reception among the audience. After finalizing your AR filter or effect on Spark AR studio, the next step is publishing. Publish Spark AR products across Meta and Instagram through Spark AR Hub.

Effects built on Spark AR are submitted for review and approval before creators can launch them. After getting the go signal, Spark AR Hub will send you a link redirecting to your AR effect. You can use this link to promote your project on social media.

Spark AR Hub brings real-time insights and progress reports on your AR effects. You can measure the performance of your products through Impressions, Captures, and Shares.

To access Spark AR Hub, simply login to your Meta account and navigate this link. Spark AR Hub is free and welcome for every creator to use in managing their effects and filters.

Source: sparkar.facebook.com

Spark AR Player

Another addition to the Spark AR ecosystem is the Spark AR Player, a mobile application that lets you preview your AR creations. With Spark AR Player, you can work on multiple project files, like masks and frames on desktop and mobile.

Tracking movement can be challenging to accomplish on desktop, but this handy application lets you refine the effect’s movement, placement and more according to the typical resolutions of mobile devices and tablets. Additionally, you can use Spark AR Player as storage for the different versions and drafts of your projects.

Source: play.google.com

Spark AR Player is free to download and compatible on Android and iOS devices. A desktop version is available for download on the official webpage. You can use this to mirror effect simulation from desktop to mobile.

How to Use Spark AR

Spark AR comes with a simple user interface, and learning how to use it is relatively easy. The first and most important thing to do is grabbing a copy of the software. Download Spark AR Studio from the official website, and install it on your device.

Spark AR Studio is beginner-friendly, but that is not to say it is inferior for seasoned developers. Regardless of your expertise in intuitive design and development, Spark AR Studio is a convenient low-code platform with a diverse range of tools to experiment with.

Meta prepared multiple tutorials and resources on using Spark AR to the fullest. Learn how to manipulate backgrounds, perform 3D modeling, and animate 3D objects from the diverse (and completely free!) library of tutorials here.

Publishing AR Projects with Spark AR Hub

Spark AR Hub is a convenient management platform where content creators and brand marketers can monitor their projects’ pending approval, engagement rates, and more.

Export your completed AR effect from Spark AR Studio, then upload it on to Spark AR Hub to prepare it for publishing. On Spark AR Hub, select which between Facebook and Instagram filters you’d like to publish it. You will have to wait a few days for the approval of your effect before it is officially launched on to the social platform of your choice. Spark AR follows community guidelines that must be taken into consideration when constructing an AR effect.

How Successful are Your AR Effects and Filters?

Results are pivotal to a content creator or brand marketer’s career. AR effects, just as with any digital product, are highly engaging marketing tools that you’d want to maximize. Get insights on how your target audience perceived your effects with Spar AR Hub’s built-in analytics features:

Source: medium.com

Opens

This metrics tells you how many times your filter has been opened on Instagram or Facebook stories.

Impressions

How often was your effect pulled up on a screen? Impressions measure the frequency of an effect displayed as a user tries it out or views it from an Instagram profile via Story or a post.

Captures

How often did users take a picture or video with the effect? Captures measure the number of times your effect was used on the native Facebook or Instagram cameras.

Shares

How often did your effect feature on other user’s content? Shares measure the frequency of the effect’s appearance on users’ posts and Stories.

Spark AR and the Future of Marketing

Spark AR is more than just a development platform of funny interactive experiences. As augmented reality is slowly becoming a staple technology, Spark AR augmented reality effects are also lighting up new marketing channels for various industries.

Luxury brand Coach, dipped in the augmented reality experience by promoting an immersive ad where viewers can try out sunglasses. Coach reports that such a marketing strategy significantly increased purchase intent.

The AR Ad Experience from Coach

Home improvement and DIY giant Lowes points out that accuracy in 3D modelling and spatial understanding is crucial to help customers assess the size and compatibility of, say, a certain piece of furniture in their living quarters.

Lowes emphasizes the significance of 3D modelling accuracy for a fully immersive online shopping experience

Standardizing the quality and scale of 3D models improves user experience and hastens the mainstream adoption of augmented reality as the future of digital marketing.

Conclusion

Spark AR is just one of many development platforms transforming the playing field of augmented reality. Today, virtually anyone can play around with AR technology, and even make a profit out of successful AR ventures. Social media is an excellent channel for AR to break through, and Spark AR is reaping promising results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Spark AR free?

Yes, Spark AR Studio and the rest of the Spark AR ecosystem is free to download and use.

What is Spark AR used for?

Spark AR is an augmented reality development platform where users can build AR experiences and publish them on Meta or Instagram.

Can you make money with Spark AR?

Spark AR doesn’t come with a marketplace. However, some content creators choose to sell their projects on third-party platforms like Gumroad and Fiverr.

Which platforms support Spark AR?

Spark AR is compatible with Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android.

Interested in designing your own AR experience?

Download the Interaction Design and Prototyping for XR syllabus

REVIEWED BY

dejan growth marketing

Dejan Gajsek

Content Marketing Manager

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