The future of shopping is trying things on in augmented reality

Now you see me, now you shop.
Now you see me, now you shop.
Image: Facebook
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Ordering something online is quicker and sometimes cheaper than going to a store, but it still requires a certain leap of faith because you can’t try things on, or look at them in real life. Today (July 10th), Facebook added another nail to the coffin of brick-and-mortar shopping when it began testing augmented reality ads in the news feed, a feature that brings online shopping one step closer to the offline experience.

Instead of imagining what a shade of lipstick might look like with your complexion, or how a dresser might fit in the corner of your room, Facebook users will now be able to virtually visualize and interact with new products and services before they make a purchase. Snapchat released a similar feature in April, which AdAge affectionally dubbed “selfie-commerce.”

“This will allow you to bridge what you can do in the store and what you can do on the site,” Ty Ahmad-Taylor, Facebook’s VP of Product Marketing, told a crowded room of brand marketers at the launch event in New York City.

These ads are the latest in the company’s plans go all-in on AR. Facebook announced a developer kit for AR in May, and Mark Zuckerberg has waxed poetic about AR headsets and the company’s future beyond the screen. Though the AR ads are currently only available in the US to a limited group of advertisers, they point to Facebook’s broader strategy to overlay your real life with your digital one.