Snapchat has launched a new in-app feature that will allow for the creation of Selfie Lens filter games. For those not content to broadcast every mundane moment of their lives to their friends with the app, these games will add a competitive element to Snapchat and provide a new form of revenue for advertisers seeking eye-catching sponsored filters.
Snapchat previously tested out the game feature in March of 2016, and some users were served a Kraft Mac & Cheese sponsored filter with a game-like element that encouraged users to “eat” floating noodles while taking selfies. In December, another game scrambled users’ faces and timed how long it took them to solve the puzzle and put their face back together.
Snapchat has now confirmed a formal launch of the game feature, and users are currently being offered an non-sponsored Christmas-themed “Santa’s Helper” filter game within the app. According to Tech Crunch:
"The game places your face into an elf body, JibJab-style, and then you tilt your device back and forth to steer yourself down a ski slope as you collect presents and avoid obstacles. You can take a photo or video at any time and post it or share it with friends to challenge others to beat your score."
Though not particularly innovative, games like this will help make Snapchat even more addictive and likely increase time spent on the app, as users return to beat their high score and conquer the game before, like many filters, it is replaced by something new. Plus, by having score sharing be an essential element, the games will still provide value for those who still want to use the app primarily as a way to show off how cool their life is.
Mashable points out that Snapchat is currently hiring 3D and video game experts, suggesting features like this are probably going to be a serious part of the app’s future. Check out a clip of the game from YouTube user Micoola up top.