Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Snapchat is letting users buy products through a new advertisers' augmented reality feature in its app called "Shoppable AR."

Why it matters: It's one of the most sophisticated uses of augmented reality for marketing that's been rolled out to date — and now that people can buy things directly using the tool, it's likely to spur more investment in the technology.

The bigger picture: Until now, AR has mostly been used to do marketing at the top of the "funnel" by driving awareness around brands. By making it possible to buy things through AR, the tool can now be used closer to the bottom of the funnel, all people to actually buy products.

How it works: When brands buy an AR "lens" or animated image/video that pertains that can be overlaid on any picture or video taken by a Snapchatter, they can now also add a button that allows users to buy things directly from the moveable image.

  • Four brands have already begun using the feature: Clairol, Adidas, King, and STX Entertainment.
  • "We no longer live in a world where it has to be either brand or commerce, consumers don’t think that way and neither should we,” says Chris Murphy, Head of Digital Experience, adidas US.

Go deeper: Snapchat has taken the lead on pushing augmented reality mainstream.

Go deeper

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. EST: 32,135,220 — Total deaths: 981,660 — Total recoveries: 22,149,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m EST: 6,975,980 — Total deaths: 202,738 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats prepare new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package.
  4. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  6. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  7. Sports: Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic — Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  8. Science: Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China — During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
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Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
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Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

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