A strange “art.snapchat.com” URL featuring a countdown to 3PM eastern time Tuesday over a photo of Central Park and New York’s skyline has appeared. When TechCrunch asked Snapchat about it, a company spokesperson told us “😊 we’re excited to share more soon”.[Update: It appears the site is counting down to the launch of an augmented reality art feature and partnership with pop artist Jeff Koons. More on that below.]
Whether it’s a new creative feature, a platform for artistic user generated content, or something else we can’t be sure. Snapchat had previously used countdowns to mark the arrival of its Snapbot Spectacles vending machines in new locations. We’ll be back at 3PM Tuesday to give readers a look at what Snapchat reveals.
If I had to guess based on zero information, I’d say that Snapchat will launch a feature that lets you pin augmented reality art you create at real-life locations that other users can then view when nearby. Like AR graffiti. Facebook has previewed plans to do something similar with its AR Camera Effects platform but the feature has yet to roll out. You can see a demo of it with art by Heather Day below. New York was where contemporary graffiti proliferated after all.
AR can hide content on a digital plane within the real world, thereby making you curious of what could be lingering around you if you just held up your phone. That could be an appealing reason to whip out Snapchat wherever you go. Snapchat has already used this feature with its stylized geofilters, goading users to swipe after Snapping to see if a cool filter is available for their location.
But that’s all the speculation I’m downward-spiraling into. See you tomorrow.
Update: TechCrunch reader Paul Stamatiou sent us this video clip via Jonah Grant that depicts a now-removed YouTube video detailing a Snapchat partnership with Jeff Koons that puts one his iconic blow-up animal balloon pop-art sculptures in Central Park similar to the pinned augmented reality art feature I guessed at above.