YouTube has introduced augmented reality into videos, providing a canvas for beauty bloggers to play with virtual makeup while also opening a new route for brands to hawk their products.
On Tuesday, Google, which owns YouTube, announced the new augmented-reality feature, which enables “virtual try-on” sessions. Viewers turn a phone’s camera onto themselves, like looking in the mirror, to digitally sample a shade of lipstick or other makeup product—and there is a buy button. On Tuesday, Google also released a new ad format that incorporates technology akin to augmented reality, calling them three-dimensional display ads, which can run on any mobile website.
MAC Cosmetics was one of the first beauty brands to test the virtual try-ons in YouTube, while New Balance was among the first to develop a 3D display ad, which Google showed off in a blog post on Tuesday.