After three months of testing, Snapchat is officially launching its “Dreams” feature, which invites users to create fantastical selfies by way of generative AI.
To explore Dreams, Snapchatters will open the camera-roll section of the app called Memories. From there, they can upload a variety of selfies and wait as Snapchat offers up a series of themed eight-photo packs, transforming the user into “a mermaid in a deep-space scene, or a renaissance era royal.”
While the first eight Dreams images that a user creates are free, any additional images will require users to pay a starting price of $0.99. The company said Dreams can also feature a user alongside any friends who have chosen to opt in.
Dreams is building off of Snap's classic draw of transforming users' personas -- sprouting dog ears, changing their hair color in an instant etc. -- via its themed Lenses feature, which first dropped in 2015. Now, instead of simply altering an image, Dreams creates wholly new images that provide “a fun parallel in many ways to the early days with Lenses,” the company stated in a recent statement.
The new feature also marks the app's next leap into integrating AI technologies since its launch of the controversial text-based My AI chatbot this past February, which generated widespread disdain from Snap's user base due to its permanent placement in users' inboxes, unsavory responses to underage users, and unexpected privacy issues.
Two weeks ago, the ChatGPT-powered feature raised eyebrows when it posted its own story and stopped responding to messages -- a “temporary outage,” according to Snap, which offered no further details.
“With both Dreams and My AI launching within 6 months, we’re really doubling down on AI,” a Snap spokesperson wrote in an email, claiming that My AI has received over 10 billion messages from 150 million Snapchatters since its launch.