Snap is shutting down its camera app for the desktop that allows users to apply filters like cat ears and pirate hats on video calls. The company said on a support page that the product will be discontinued on January 25, but did not say why it was abandoning the app. Users won’t be able to download or use the Snap Camera after the deadline.
The company first introduced Snap Camera in 2018 for creators to use with video conferencing apps like Skype, YouTube, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom. The app, available on both Windows and Mac, allowed users to switch between different face filters during a video call or a live stream.
People should make Snap Camera filters for Zoom that look like d&d characters so we can use them when playing online. Just saying 😌 pic.twitter.com/joRgwXvpbr
— Paola Harris 🎨 PaolasPixels.com (@Irrel) October 18, 2020
Users might get a blank screen after the Snap camera gets disabled later this month, so it’s better to uninstall the app and switch to your default camera.
The company said that compatible AR lenses will work with the web version of its app, which was launched last July.
In response to a creator on Twitter, Snap said that it is focusing more on expanding Camera Kit access for the web.
“We’re adjusting our web-based investments for the AR creator & developer community to focus on expanding access to Camera Kit for Web. Stay tuned for more info this year, and you can keep using Lenses on your computer with Snapchat for Web,” it noted.
Hi there, thanks for asking! We’re adjusting our web-based investments for the AR creator & developer community to focus on expanding access to Camera Kit for Web. Stay tuned for more info this year, and you can keep using Lenses on your computer with Snapchat for Web.
— Snap AR (@SnapAR) January 5, 2023
The discontinuation of the Snap Camera app — spotted first by The Verge — is not entirely surprising. Last year, it cut 20% of its staff and shuttered its drone product months after first launching it.
In December, the company also announced that it is planning to shut down the location-based social app Zenly, which was acquired in 2017. As the company will now focus on ecommerce partnerships and paid lenses to generate more revenue with a sized-down team, side projects like a desktop camera app will be expectedly slashed.