Snapchat's Pride-themed lenses turn famous buildings into icons of Pride Month
Snapchat is allowing users to virtually transform landmarks in celebration of Pride Month. Snapchat released three new, Pride-themed Landmarkers, created especially for the occasion: one in New York City, one in Washington, D.C., and one in Los Angeles.
Earlier this year, the platform announced the launch of their Landmarkers — lenses that transform landmarks in real time. The feature — called a "lens" because itchanges what the user sees in real time as opposed to a "filter," which is a static overlay — can even make the Eiffel Tower vomit rainbows, according to The Verge.
Later this month, two more Pride lenses will be launched abroad: one in Paris and one in London.
The lenses were created in honor of Pride — a monthlong celebration of the LGBTQ community, history, diversity and love. The pride lenses were designed by Snapchat's official lens creators, who self-identify as LGBTQ, according to a Snapchat representative.
The three locations already launched include the Flatiron Building in New York City; the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.; and the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles.
Snapchat's ability to create Landmarkers comes from public contributions. When people submit Snapchats to public stories run by the app, the data remains and developers are able to rebuild the architecture, according to a Snapchat representative.
The way that the Pride Landmarker feature works is simple. Users can take their phone to the nearest Landmarker location and open their rear-facing camera on Snapchat. On the filter carousel, users can select the Landmarker lens and watch the landmark transform in front of them into a "pride icon" in real time.
Joshua Keeney designed the Flatiron Building Pride Landmarker. The Landmarker celebrates self-identity, something that Keeney said he explores and expresses in his own artwork.
"I expanded that concept into the larger narrative of Pride and this interpretation of Pride as a celebration of one's own identity as well as celebrating the diversity of others," Keeney said.
Self-definition served as his inspiration in his design. The lens shows a male and female figure sitting atop the Flatiron Building and a figure on the opposite side fading out, depending on where you are looking at the building from. To create the design, Keeney tapped into his own universe; he's often inspired by futurism and retro imagery.
"The male form is used to express my own queer identity as I've never been able to identify with or see myself in gay culture or feel like I belong," Keeney said. "The female form is used in my work as an expression of myself, not in gender identity but rather as an expression of pure energy. Through these forms I create my own identity in my artwork."
What is gen Z's favorite social app? Snapchat but it's not the one they use the most
Snapchat facing problems but user numbers are stabilizing
The option to create an augmented reality lens is available to anyone on Snapchat's desktop app, Lens Studio.
The Landmarkers aren't the app's only new release; in April, Snapchat launched a gaming feature.