YouTube is becoming more interactive, for some users at least.
On Tuesday, the video streaming platform’s parent company Google announced a feature that makes one of the app’s most popular genres of videos more engaging. Called AR Beauty Try-On, the tool will let YouTubers virtually test out makeup while following along with content creators to get tips, product reviews and more.
Once it’s rolled out, users will be able to see how they look wearing new lipstick shades by swiping through a virtual palate of available colors for free.
“Thanks to machine learning and AR technology, it offers realistic, virtual product samples that work on a full range of skin tones,” Google’s head of branded experiences Aaron Luber said in a blog post.
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How it works
The tech uses a split-screen approach, so while users watch beauty vloggers on one screen, they’ll be able to see a real-time video feed of themselves on another. AR Beauty Try-On will use your front-facing camera to see you and augmented reality filters to apply digital makeup samples to your face.
The feature is currently in the alpha testing phase and is made available through Google’s interactive entertainment company FameBit, which offers in-house branded content.
MAC Cosmetics is the first makeup company to sign on.
YouTube says it tested the AR tool with several beauty brands and found that 30% of viewers chose to activate the experience when it was available in the YouTube iOS app. On average, YouTubers spent more than 80 seconds trying on various lipstick shades, Google said.
The move could provide a solution for people who don’t want to commit to buying expensive cosmetics before getting home and realizing that the shade doesn’t work for them. However, filters don’t offer solutions to consumer-related issues such as texture or smell. Not to mention, colors on a digital screen don’t always match up to real-world products.
The new tool will be made available to brands and advertisers later this summer.
While this could be a huge step forward for YouTube, which sees 2 billion monthly active users, the video streaming app isn’t the first to use AR beauty tech. Sephora’s Virtual Artist and Ulta’s GLAMLab app both let users virtually try on products.
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown