Augmented Reality Filters and the Faces as Brands: Personal Identities and Marketing Strategies in the Age of Algorithmic Images
In Gabriele Meiselwitz (ed.), Social Computing and Social Media: Applications in Education and Commerce (Part II) , HCI International 2022 Conference Proceedings, vol. 15, Cham, Springer, 2022, pp. 1-12. DOI 10.1007/978-3-031-05064-0_17
Abstract. This paper analyzes the so-called “augmented reality ﬁlters” (ARF), a technology that makes it possible to produce and spread widely on social media a particular type of video selﬁes that are manipulated live while ﬁlming – for example, by modifying the somatic characters of the producer’s face. The ﬁrst part of the paper analyzes ARFs in the light of a socio-semiotics of dispositives. This approach makes it possible to identify three interconnected aspects of ARFs: their technological consistency, which is closer to mixed reality than to augmented reality; their socio-psychological uses, and in particular personal identity construction through body image manipulation; and ﬁnally, their economic-political implications, linked to face recognition and social surveillance. The second part of the paper focuses on the marketing uses of ARFs and, in particular, on branded ARFs transforming users’ faces. In these cases, the radical involvement of brands in deﬁning the identity of users requires a profound rethinking of the mechanisms of trust that bind them to consumers.
Keywords: Media semiotics · Socio-semiotics · Digital advertising · Augmented reality · Mixed reality · Enunciation · Identity · Algorithmic capitalism · Media experience · Dispositive