Tired of using virtual backgrounds to spice up your Microsoft Teams conversations? Well, you now have a new way to express yourself in meetings. Microsoft and Snap today announced the integration of Snapchat Lenses for Teams to make virtual meetings a little more fun.
As part of the integration, Teams users get access to a collection of 26 popular Lenses during meetings. You can use the lenses to turn yourself into a cartoon character or add fun backgrounds to your video, for example. Snap says the new integration is intended to enable more fun and engaging meetings. You don’t need to download anything to access the lenses, as you can get started by clicking on “Video Effects” and selecting the “Snapchat” tab.
“With the rise of hybrid and flexible work, our customers need tools that help build connections and foster a productive and enjoyable work environment,” Microsoft Teams Vice President Nicole Herskowitz said in an emailed statement. “That’s why we’re excited to bring Snapchat’s most popular Lenses natively into Microsoft Teams meetings, making it easy for users to add even more personality and fun to video calls. With Snapchat Lenses for Teams, we’re offering customers a new way to express themselves and interact with colleagues in a dynamic and entertaining way.”
Snap says the integration is powered by Camera Kit, Snap’s SDK that allows partners to use Snap’s AR technology in their own applications and websites.
It’s worth noting that this is Microsoft’s second integration with Camera Kit. The company has also used Camera Kit to bring Snap AR into Flip, Microsoft’s video learning platform where educators can post questions about topics to spark video discussions among students. Since adding Snap AR to the Flip web experience, the company has seen a 60% increase in the number of students and teachers creating videos.
Today’s announcement comes a few months after Snap shut down its desktop camera app, which allowed users to apply filters to video calls. At the time, Snap said it was focusing more on expanding Camera Kit access to the web. The company first introduced Snap Camera in 2018 as a way for creators to spice up their Twitch stream, but the camera app really took off during the 2020 pandemic when people started using it with video conferencing apps like Microsoft Teams, Skype, YouTube, Google Hangouts, Skype and Zoom. The app, available for both Windows and Mac, allowed users to switch between different face filters during a video call or live stream.
Snap says it’s continuing to work closely with new partners to integrate Camera Kit, meaning we’re likely to see Snapchat lenses pop up in more popular apps and platforms in the future.