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Porn Studio Starts Building X-Rated Snapchat Lenses, Encourages Users to Do the Same

Update: Snapchat removed the lenses in question following the publication of this story. Read our follow-up for all the details.

Adult entertainment company Naughty America wants to use augmented reality to get the word out about its paid services. The company has begun to make Snapchat lenses featuring some of its models, and is teaching its audience to do the same.

Naughty America shared three such lenses on its website (link not safe for work) for free this week. One of them features the 3D hologram of adult performer Stephanie West in lingerie. The other two lenses feature decidedly more x-rated fare, including a nude pole dancer and a male performer with full frontal nudity.

Paying members of the site have access to a handful of additional lenses, as well as holographic source data necessary to make AR filters. “We are giving the files away so people can make their own lense,” said Naughty America CEO Andreas Hronopoulos in an interview with Variety.

X-rated lenses are likely going to cause some controversy, but Hronopoulos insisted that his company was playing by the rules. Naughty America is advising users not to publicly share their x-rated lenses, and not to publish them in Snapchat’s lens catalog. It also tells them not to use sexual imagery in preview images.

“We are just privately sharing these,” said Hronopoulos, likening it to the way Snapchat users may exchange personal pictures via the app.

Snapchat has in the past been a bit more lenient about nudity on its service than some of its competitors. Facebook’s Instagram in particular does not allow nudity on its platform, and has frequently been criticized for its arbitrary community guidelines, which for instance allow male, but not female nipples.

Snapchat, on the other hand, allows what it calls “nudity in non-sexual contexts.” However, the service prohibits accounts “that promote or distribute pornographic content.”

Regardless of these issues, Naughty America’s approach to not only make its own Snapchat lenses, but also encourage its audiences to do the same is noteworthy. In addition to providing its customers with holographic capture data necessary to build Snapchat lenses, it also put together a tutorial on how to do so.

Snapchat has developed a desktop app called Lens Studio that anyone can use to build augmented reality lenses for its app. The company said lenses built by its community have been used over 15 billion times.

Hronopoulos praised Lens Studio in his conversation with Variety, saying: “It’s an amazing piece of software.” He said he didn’t have any reservations about giving away files necessary to make lenses featuring Naughty America performers: “Who are we to say that we are the most creative?”

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