With COVID-19 still running wild around the globe, a new era has come in 2020, which has forever changed the world we used to know. Although at some point during the long quarantines it looked as if everything would be digital going forward, it now seems that this time is rather a starting point for new social behaviors that will transform our perception of online-to-offline interactions— considering that both digital and physical elements are becoming a fundamental part of how we experience the world.

No doubt this major shift in our social behavior has been accelerated by COVID-19, and time is starting to shape the next generation of social apps that will bring the digital and physical worlds closer together. Platforms like Snap and IG started to leverage creative AR makeup filters to help users communicate more confidently— building bias on how they feel about their looks. The truth is that the combination of digital and physical elements is becoming a fundamental part of our everyday lives. Context and locations have always helped people measure social status within communities and in today’s DNA people are looking for contextual identity even with their Zoom image backgrounds.

All of the above is therefore making the connection of both physical and digital context a relevant source of inspiration for new and future technology that is ready to accommodate the social trend and open even more opportunities. LiDAR technology in Apple’s new iPhone 12 Pro camera will not only enable more immersive AR experiences to seamlessly overlay into the real world but will make the adoption of the technology easier and more scalable.

Considering that the convergence of gaming and social is already present in the tech ecosystem, the next massive social media product will be, whether directly or indirectly, a game. FlickPlay, quietly but confidently, has been building a consumer platform that will power the future of spatial AR and communal gaming. The platform is an immersive video-sharing social app that uses gaming and AR content tools to create a new canvas for social storytelling, making digital elements feel as real as the things you can touch and feel. Unlike Snap or IG, which –from a product standpoint– focus on powering creative communication through selfie mode, FlickPlay has engineered the tools to empower users to activate the world around them.

On FlickPlay, users can access creative AR experiences through their interactive camera map game. It enables users to re-imagine the world and cities they live in, with no limits to creative storytelling. The app gamifies videos once they are shared for the community to unlock points, and engage in leaderboard challenges with their friends. Because of FlickPlay’s points and rewards programs, these types of AR experiences have become an appealing offering for brands that wish to connect with consumers through 360 online-to-offline campaigns in open spaces of high social and cultural relevance for their target users.

As things stand during this COVID-19 period, 3D social media apps are empowering their communities to add digital layers to the real world, ushering in a new way to interact with our cities and those around us.

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