TikTok Announces Their AR Development Platform, Effect House, is Now Available to the Public

Research
April 13, 2022

The usage of AR filters on TikTok has gained huge popularity across the app, and now creators and brands alike can tap into the potential of Effect House!

TikTok announced today that they have officially expanded beta access to all creators for their in-house augmented reality (AR) platform, Effect House. The platform has been operating in closed beta for a few months now and has been used by more than 450 creators, the Offbeat team being one of them. These early creators have been behind some of the recent top trends on TikTok.

The opening of Effect House to all creators comes at a time when marketers are seeing an increase in opportunities on short-form video platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Youtube Shorts.  

To encourage the development of effects on Effects House, TikTok has released guides that teach users the tactics for creating different types of effects like Face Mask, Face Stretch, and 3D Face. This resource makes it easier for all creators to utilize the AR Development Platform successfully and maximize its potential. 

They have also created best practices that reflect their published set of dedicated guidelines for Effect House. Here are some key takeaways from TikTok's specific guidelines and from our team's experience on the platform the past few months.

Create Effects That Incite Interaction

TikTok tells creators that the best effects are those that prompt users to interact and engage with it. Since attention spans are short, creators are given the task of hooking their audience and giving them reasons to not only watch the video using the effect, but also prompt them to want to create their own videos with it.

A proven way to engage the audience is to tell a story. Many creators take a effect that does not have a storytelling component to it and infuse their own storytelling abilities onto the effect. As seen below.

While this effect itself is quite simple, it has proven to be one of the best examples of interactivity. If you give creators on TikTok an open-ended resource, often they will be able to infuse humor and relatability into the content themselves.

The 'Which Dog' effect became so popular it found a rescue dog a home after the user promised to adopt whatever dog the effect landed on. Talk about a successful social push! 

Inspire the Community

The most used and loved effects are those that empower users to be creative. TikTok celebrates inclusivity and creativity so they want their effects to step outside of the box and be as expressive as possible.

TikTok comments, “the platform is a place for authentic, joyful, and uplifting content. Think about creating effects that empower creators to express themselves, explore their self-identity and share their creativity in uniquely TikTok ways. Effects should promote a positive self-image and avoid reinforcing narrow and unattainable beauty ideals.”

Tiktok mentioned that they will use their Trust and Safety team to ensure that all creators are adhering to guidelines while using Effect House.  

Simplicity is key

Effects that are easy to use and don’t require a lot of steps are those that do the best within the platform. If the effect is more elaborate, or requires extra steps, teach the user in a clear manner. 

Offbeat’s Creative Manager Emily Berk explains, “Randomizer effects, which are simple animations that include a prompt, have spiked in popularity across Instagram and TikTok, as they are fun, simple, and put the creator at the center of the action. Users can record themselves using the effect with their own commentary or reactions and share this user-generated content to their stories, reels, video calls, and via DM."

Using AR as Part of Your Campaign 

Using AR Effects as a key component of social strategy can elevate your campaign and allow your target demographic to interact with your message, not just see it passively.

Offbeat's Creative Manager, Emily Berk comments, “There are 3.8+ billion phones in circulation with AR capabilities, so, AR effects should be an integral part of every creative campaign. They require a user’s full attention to engage with, garnering high brand recall and a significant increase in intent to purchase”. 

Since the beta test of TikTok's Effect House was released, the Offbeat team has created 14 effects for the platform that have collectively amassed over 2.5 Billion views and have been shared more than 4 Million times. This should provide some context for brands who are wary about the tactic.

Augmented Realty is certainly not a new trend. In fact, AR social experiences have been around for nearly a decade (who remembers the rainbow coming out of your mouth on Snapchat all those years ago?) But, elevated AR experiences are becoming honed for today's users and brands across social media.

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