Snapchat’s newest filters can recognize what’s in your photos

Snapchat is rolling out new filters that can recognize what’s in your photos in order to suggest graphics, like borders or stickers, to accompany your posts. These filters today are capable of recognizing images of objects like pets, sports, and food, as well as specific locations, like beaches or concerts.

The quiet release of the new filters was first spotted by Mashable, which confirmed the rollout with a company spokesperson.

The filters will appear as options in the carousel of filters after the user takes a photo matching one of the above categories, the report also noted.

The addition is an extension of Snapchat’s existing smart filters, including those that are based on where you are at the moment, also known as geofilters. Before, the smart filter carousel had featured smart filters that would show things like time, temperature or speed, but these have now been moved to the creative tool bar, where they’re available as stickers.

Being able to identify what’s in a photo in order to suggest filters could impact Snap’s advertising business in the future, as brands could target users based on the images they’re capturing, instead of just targeting a location or set of interests, as they do now. The company had also filed a patent for an advertising system patent back in 2015, which was published last July, the report said.

[gallery ids="1571268,1571269"]

Object recognition is a standard for many of today’s photo-sharing apps, including Apple’s Photos app, Google Photos, Amazon’s Prime Photos, and more. But in most cases, it’s been put to use to help surface photos of a certain nature, not to suggest ways to augment those photos with stickers and other decorations, with the more recent exception of Microsoft’s Skype, which added a similar feature called “Photo Effects” earlier this month.

This is not the first time Snapchat has offered image recognition capabilities, though. The company already lets users search across Stories by keywords for the objects in question (like “dogs”), or to search through their Snapchat Memories.

The launch of the filters comes just ahead of a significant redesign of the Snapchat application, which will focus on making the app easier to use for older people, while also sorting the Stories feed algorithmically, instead of in reverse-chronological order as it does now.

Image credits: Mashable