Snap has launched new features to help people maintain healthy social distancing to slow down the spread of coronavirus. It launched two new lenses for Snapchat that encourage social distancing, and a new feature that gives help and support to people stressed out because of coronavirus-related fears. It earlier rolled out a tool called 'Here For You' that showed resources from expert localized partners for topics related to mental health, anxiety, depression, and more. 'Here For You' was later updated with a special section about COVID-19, produced with help from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The two new lenses use augmented reality to convey different messages. ‘My Social Distance' draws a circle on the ground around you when seen through the phone, and that's the distance you're supposed to maintain from people to prevent the spread of COVID. The circle changes colour from green to red if someone else steps inside, letting you know that you're no longer practicing adequate social distancing. The second lens comes with health tips like animated hand wash reminders. It also includes reminders about washing hands, staying indoors, and the importance of not touching your face in order to avoid coronavirus infection. Both the lenses have also been linked to the WHO website that will offer additional information to the users. The new lenses have been created by Snapchat in collaboration with the WHO.
Snapchat had announced the 'Here For You' tool in February, which was aimed at providing relief to users who may be feeling anxious over the coronavirus pandemic while staying isolated from their friends and family. The 'Here For You' tool was later rolled out in March with a specific section on coronavirus. Snap had teamed up with the WHO, Ad Council and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US to provide all the information on ‘Here For You'. The 'Here For You' tool appears on Snapchat when a user searches for terms like 'anxiety' and 'depression' and offer important information about the problem.
Apart from the new COVID-19 related lenses, Snapchat also introduced a feature that will let users share their Snapchat Stories outside of Snapchat. Called App Stories, the feature currently only lets users share their stories on four apps - Triller, Squad, Hily, and Octi. The company however, plans to expand the portfolio of apps to which a user can export his/her Snapchat story.