Snapchat Rolls Out Lens Challenges, A Global Feature Tied To Music, Dance, Holidays And Events

By Dade Hayes, Dawn C. Chmielewski


Snapchat has launched a new feature called Lens Challenges, which allows users around the world to take part in challenges with other users.

Participants create and send “Snaps” that use a lens tied to a song, dance, holiday, event or the like. One holiday-themed example debuting along with Challenges is a sing-along to Gwen Stefani’s version of “Jingle Bells.”

The Challenges feature is intended to “inspire creativity, self-expression, and community for Snapchatters and Lens Creators alike,” the company said in its announcement.

Snap’s announcement said the company expects Lens Studio to be used by Challenge participants. The first community-created Lens Challenge is the “Disappear” Challenge, which invites users to share what the company calls “their most creative ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ moment.” The Lens was made by Jye Trudinger (known in Snapchat circles as Jinnie the Wew) and prompts users to take two photos that superimpose, causing the photo’s subject to disappear.

While it remains popular with teens and 20-somethings, who are highly prized by brand marketers, Snapchat saw a decline of 2 million daily active users in the third quarter, to 186 million. The company has seen some senior executives depart in recent months and faced ongoing complaints about its 2017 app redesign and long-delayed Android upgrade. Within its social media peer group, however, it has managed to avoid the privacy, data and political scandals that have afflicted Facebook and Twitter.

Investors remain circumspect about the company’s fortunes. Its stock price began the year at $14.50 a share but in recent weeks sank to $5.51, an all-time low. Thus far today, it is up 1% to $5.71.

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