In an effort to raise awareness of the environmental impact, Snap has collaborated with the UN environmental program to use increased reality to show how much sea levels will rise over the next 80 years.
For whole earth day, Snapchat hosts an interactive lens (built via Lens Studio) that fills the camera wall with animated water. A slider on the left side of the screen enables users to adjust the year from 2019 to 2100, with the global sea level rising.
By clicking on the "more" button, users are transported to The United Nations Environment Program's website on climate change for more information.
According to a snap spokesman, the AR experience is based on data from the International Climate Change Panel (IPCC), which predicts that the oceans will rise between 10 and 30 inches by 2100. The IPCC report also uses data from NASA, which estimates a 26-inch increase based on current trends.
However, not all death and stupidity from Snapchat. The carousel also includes a few more positive camera flows for Earth Day, one for selfies and another for the rear camera.
The shady content is a little deviant from the usual AR content found on Snapchat. In fact, it is more reminiscent of the latest examples of AR journalism.
The UN lens would fit well with the AR experience of the Syrian chemical warfare study report from the New York Times exposé on corruption in Chicago from USA Today or the special issue of magazine Time edited by Bill Gates and focused on humanitarian issues.
Snap's flexibility in handling sensitive content can open another Snapchat advertising department a year before a decisive 2020 election cycle in the United States. Then maybe, maybe, Snap didn't want to wade in the same muck as Facebook and Google faced after the 2016 election.