Snapchat’s new Snap Camera app brings the filters to your desktop

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Snapchat is launching its first Mac and Windows software that takes over your webcam and brings its augmented reality effects to other video streaming and calling services. Snap Camera can be selected as a camera output in OBS Skype, YouTube, Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom and more, plus browser-based apps like Facebook Live so you can browse through Snapchat’s Lens Explorer to try on AR face filters. And through its easily equipped new Twitch extension, streamers can trigger different masks with hotkeys.

You can download the Mac and Windows versions of Snap Camera now. Users can use Lens Explorer to preview effects and see who made them, Star their favorites for easy access and access a tab of your recently used Lenses.

Snap Camera on desktop allows for a variety of use cases. For example, users can apply a filter when they’re streaming themselves playing Fortnite or when they’re in a video calling with someone on Skype.

In order to use the lenses on desktop, users have to install Snap Camera and then use it as the camera output in third-party apps like Twitch. The app will allow them to access countless Snap lenses created by the company itself and the community using the Lens Studio tool. Lenses can be searched for using keywords as well.

“We’re trying to find new distribution channels for those creators to surface their work. We think this a very unique opportunity, bringing Snapchat AR experiences to the desktop,” said Pilipski.

A full guide to using the new Snap Camera lenses is available online. Minimum system requirements include a PC or Mac with an Intel Core i3 processor clocked at least 2.5 GHz, or an AMD Phenom II clocked at 2.6Ghz, 4GB of RAM, and a screen resolution of 1,280 x 768 or higher.

Considering that Snapchat has been struggling lately, and users have been opening the app less frequently, the new app could expand its base. As noted in August, 3 million people quit the platform, primarily due to its controversial redesign.

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