Saturday, September 30, 2023

Snap shuts down Snap Camera, putting cool filters on your Zoom calls

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Shreya Christina
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On January 25, Snap will shut down its camera app for Mac and PC. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you might remember it as the program that allowed you to apply silly filters to your face while on Zoom or other video conferencing. It’s also like Verge alum Billy Disney pointed to Mastodonthe reason why a boss accidentally showed up as a potato at a work meeting in 2020:

Snap announced the change on its support page for Snap Camera, saying it will “no longer be available to use or download” later this month. While the company points out, you still have access to a wide variety of Snapchat filters the web version of the appthat’s not quite the same as being able to show up at your next daily stand-up using the dog filter.

Snap Camera was introduced in 2018, and the company presented it as a way to spice up your Twitch streams. But it really came into its own when the pandemic started, when suddenly many people were on video calls all day and got tired of staring at an unfiltered version of themselves. However, Snap’s fortunes have changed since then: In 2022, the company laid off 20 percent of its employees and canceled projects like the Pixy drone.

Snap didn’t respond right away The edge‘s request for comment on why Snap Camera was discontinued. Part of the reason may be that it’s not as essential as it once was. Not only have many companies returned to face-to-face work, making video conferencing less of an everyday affair, but video chat apps have their own filters built in as well. Zoom has long let you dress up as an animal or apply bizarre facial effects, and on Thursday it announced it was also add customizable human avatars. Perhaps it’s a bit too early to compare the feature to Snap’s Bitmoji.

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