Snapchat, Facebook Fuel AR Growth in U.S.
VR? Not So Much.

More than 12% of Americans will use some form of Augmented Reality on a monthly basis this year, but only 3% will make regular use of Virtual Reality, according to a forecast from eMarketer. Most of that AR use is coming from Snapchat Lenses, and the report cites the relative low cost and ease of use as the main driver of AR adoption over VR.

“Users of Snapchat Lenses comprise the vast majority of our AR estimates,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Chris Bendtsen. “Snapchat growth will continue to contribute to AR users in the future, but in the next several years eMarketer also expects Facebook Stories to be a significant growth driver of AR usage, since it is now widely available to Facebook’s user base.”

Not to be confused with Spectacles, Snap’s $129 connected sunglasses, Lenses is a software feature that lets users overlay animations and other visuals onto camera images in real time. CNBC’s Todd Haselton has a nice walkthrough of how to use Lenses to, yes, make it look like a mushroom is growing out of your desk.

Snap, Inc. stock has rebounded slightly since tanking after the company’s first earnings report in early May. But shares are still down roughly 10% from their March IPO price.