Snapchat has its lenses, Instagram has its face-filters, and now YouTube has its own augmented-reality effects, which can be used in ‘stories’ posted to the video service. They’re a mixture of animated face-masks, hats and sunglasses that can be used in short videos posted by YouTube creators who have access to the ‘stories’ tool – which remains in beta for channel-owners with more than 10,000 subscribers.

Developers can create the new effects by downloading the latest version of Google’s ARCore software development kit (SDK) – something that the dev teams creating campaigns for music artists may want to look in to.

Google is keen to stress the cleverness of the technology behind the new feature: it’s published a long blog post about the “unique set of perceptive technologies able to track the highly dynamic surface geometry across every smile, frown or smirk” – and how machine-learning technology is at work behind it.

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