The recent gallery picker effect acts like a green screen in which the content of the library populates behind the person filming. A similar effect is commonly used for memes on TikTok and Instagram wants that too. However, when asked about the possible viral goals of Instagram, Roberts reflects on how users might create content in Instagram to then post it on other sites.
“There’s a lot of movement between those platforms for consumers; they’re pretty savvy about how they use their media,” he says.
Right now, creators of AR effects are largely in their own right as far as monetization is concerned. Unlike Snapchat, which runs its own partner system and pays its top AR effects developers, Instagram lets creators grow their own business and find ways to make money. Once Spark AR began rolling out first, developers said they hoped their research on the site would get them jobs for companies. They could get paid to create effects, they said. This is “completely true,” Roberts says.
However, he adds, “I think we have a long way to go before it becomes something that is at the scale of anything close to video, or photography, or one of the more established media, where there’s a very robust network of agencies and freelancers and channels to distribute it.”