On January 25th, Snap will be shutting down its camera app for Mac and PCs. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you may remember it as the program that let you apply silly filters to your face while you were on Zoom or other video conference calls. It’s also, as Verge alum Billy Disney pointed out on Mastodon, the reason a boss accidentally showed up to a work meeting as a potato in 2020:
Snap announced the change on its support page for Snap Camera, saying that it’ll “no longer be available to use or download” later this month. While the company points out that you can still access a wide array of Snapchat filters on the web version of the app, that’s not quite the same as being able to show up to your next daily standup using the dog filter.
Snap Camera was introduced in 2018, with the company pitching it as a way to spice up your Twitch streams. But it really came into its own as the pandemic started, when many people suddenly found themselves in video calls all day and got tired of staring at an unfiltered version of themselves. Snap’s fortunes have turned since then, though — in 2022, the company laid off 20 percent of its employees, and canceled projects like its Pixy drone.
Snap didn’t immediately reply to The Verge’s request for comment on why it was discontinuing Snap Camera. Part of the reason may be that it’s no longer as essential as it once was. Not only have many companies returned to in-person work, making video conferencing less of an everyday affair, but video chat apps have also been building in their own filters. Zoom has long let you dress up as an animal, or apply bizarre facial effects, and on Thursday it announced it was adding customizable human avatars as well. Perhaps it’s a bit too soon to compare the feature to Snap’s Bitmoji.
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