Selfies haven’t been the same since we’ve been able to apply lenses to our face, transforming us into cats, dogs, or my personal favourite, the cheesy grin. And I mean cheesy.

Snapchat's Cheesy Grin Lens

Snapchat have just launched World Lenses, and I think this is going to change the game again. In a bid to keep Facebook on their toes, World Lenses add augmented reality elements into your world, using 3D filters to transform the space around you.

Next time you open Snapchat, turn the camera around so it’s pointing away from you. Tap the centre of the screen to bring up the lenses and scroll through. The lenses are updated daily on Snapchat, so who knows what might get. Tip: The 3D lenses are usually the beginning of the list. Try the first five.

The 3D lenses can be moved around the world. Press and hold to move objects around, and use a zoom motion to make them appear bigger or smaller. Let go to place them. Examples of the 3D objects you might see include dancing cows, rainbows, and bouncing eyeballs. You can walk up to 3D object, apply filters over the top, and obviously film it all and post it to your story.

We’re loving World Lenses so far in the office. There have been dancing cows in team meetings (internal ones obviously 😜), and 3D slogans floating around since the update.

I think Snapchat are making themselves stand out from the crowd. One of their primary features has been copied by nearly all the main social networks in the last few months, so no wonder they’re coming out with new ideas. This release came just a few days before Facebook’s announcement of their version of augmented reality stickers, so Snapchat seem to still be ahead of the game, just.

They’re also opening themselves up for so many more advertising opportunities. Snapchat already have the Discovery section, full of sponsored content (but who really reads that?) and there are frequently sponsored lenses in the app for your selfies. But think about the possibilities World Lenses opens. Forget selfies, now we can expect to see dragons flying around in our world at the launch of the next Game of Thrones season. Frozen 2 has just been announced, so expect to see Anna and Elsa in 3D on Snapchat next year. It’s a marketer’s dream. Think about product placement. You could have Coca Cola bottles showing up left, right and centre around you, and then if the camera picks up a face, that person could be drinking it!

Could sponsored World Lenses be part of the future?

For me, World Lenses add a new level of fun to the app. Yes, I will continue to take ridiculous selfies at parties, but I will now be more inclined to turn the camera around (a big deal considering I’m from the selfie generation) and capture more of the action surrounding me, and laugh at everyone dancing with a 3D cow. I mean come on, tell me that’s not funny.