TikTok expands access to its “Effect House” AR creation platform

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After opening up its Effects House AR creator tool to select developers last August, TikTok is now expanding beta access to all creators, which will help the platform expand its creative capacity and, ideally, leverage the latest visual effects trends to attract more users.

As it seems, Effects House, much like Snapchat’s “Lens Studio” and Meta’s “Spark AR” platform, allows creators to create AR effects, with a range of templates and tools to simplify the process.

As explained by TikTok:

Effect House offers learning tools and resources, equipping creators with intuitive design and development technologies that would allow them to create immersive and dynamic effects for the global TikTok community.

TikTok effect house

From your base effect model, you can then add various elements to customize your AR effect, creating any sort of weird face morph feature you like.

TikTok effect house

Well, not just any — with Effect House, TikTok is also looking to encourage pure creativity, as opposed to effects that make people look better or could be used in potentially negative ways.

The effects must follow our Effects Guidelines, which outline additional policies aimed at helping everyone on TikTok feel welcome and empowered to create exactly as they are. For example, we don’t allow effects that promote colorism or negative stereotyping against protected groups, or effects that depict cosmetic surgery, such as lip fillers, or encourage the scrutiny of appearance. from someone.

Which is a good step. Incidentally, Ogilvy in the The UK recently announced that it will now refuse to work with influencers who distort or retouch their bodies or faces for branding campaigns, as part of a new effort to tackle ‘systemic’ damage to mental health via social media platforms.

Last year, as part of the Facebook Files leak, former Meta staffer Frances Haugen shared internal Meta research that showed Instagram can have significant impacts on the mental health of young women. , in particular, and part of that is clearly negative self-comparison, and trying to match your own looks with highly curated, highly edited images of other users’ stunningly perfect portrayals.

AR effects have added to this, expanding access to these tools, and it’s good to see TikTok taking a stronger stance and making a bigger push against the use of AR effects and filters as a form of visual enhancement.

I mean, it won’t stop people, of course, but reducing the number of beautification items and properly indicating when they’ve been used are good steps in the right direction, which might help bring things back on earth for regular reasons. users.

Also note that Google has removed all filters applied by default in selfie images taken on Pixel devices in 2020, while Norwegian lawmakers passed new regulations last year that require all influencers and advertisers to clearly label all edited photos.

These are all small positive steps, which could have a big impact.

In addition to its effects elements, TikTok’s Effect House also includes case studies, creator stories, and tutorials to help you improve your efforts.

TikTok effect house

It’s a logical evolution of TikTok, as it seems to be becoming a bigger player in the space and encouraging more creators to participate in the app. The initiative will also allow top effects creators to monetize their work by partnering with sponsoring brands, adding another avenue for TikTok to fuel its own creator economy.

And it has already proven itself:

To date, more than 450 effect creators have posted effects on TikTok, inspiring the creation of over 1.5 billion videos and garnering over 600 billion views worldwide.

This will undoubtedly see a big jump off the back of this expanded launch.

It’s still in beta, so it will be somewhat limited for now, but if you’re interested, you can access TikTok’s new Effect House effects workshop here.

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