The Chinese short-form social media giant known as TikTok is getting into an increasingly crowded and competitive space: augmented reality effects tools.
Hints that the company is engaged in the effort first surfaced about a week ago. The new platform is called TikTok Effect House.
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So far, the project is still in its beta phase and not widely available to the public, but anyone can sign up now to attempt to get access. On its face, the TikTok Effect House seems to be entering the space currently occupied by Snap's Lens Studio and Facebook's Spark AR Studio.
The aforementioned software tools are designed to make creating elaborate AR effects easy for non-developers who are perhaps more interested in creating experiences rather than spending a couple of years learning to code.
Evidence of the project was posted on Twitter by social media consultant Matt Navarra. In a follow-up report, TechCrunch confirmed with the company that TikTok Effect House was launched at the beginning of August.
Among the questions new would-be users are asked at sign up are the standard computer questions (Mac or PC user), but other questions are more indicative of where the project is going. "Have you created an augmented reality effect before?" and "How many years of experience do you have with augmented reality?" are some of the questions included.
Interestingly, the project isn't closing off most competing platform integrations and lets you sign up via Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, or via your Apple account.
TikTok has been dabbling in the world of AR for several years now, but a close examination of the company's product blog has revealed increasingly sophisticated efforts. Now it appears that TikTok is ready to leverage its incredibly popular video sharing powers to tackle the world of AR, a move that will likely raise the stakes even higher in the race to mainstream the immersive tech.