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Snapchat, Facebook Fueling AR Growth

TeMarketerVRARhis year, 40 million Americans will engage with some form of augmented reality (AR) monthly, up 30.2 percent over last year, according to eMarketer’s first forecast on AR and virtual reality (VR). Snapchat Lenses and Facebook and Instagram Stories are fueling much of this growth, while VR usage is driven by 360-degree videos on social networks.

eMarketer defines AR users as individuals of any age who engage with augmented reality content at least once a month using any device. This year, 12.3 percent of the U.S. population will engage with some form of AR content monthly. By 2019, AR users are expected to top 54.4 million—16.4 percent of the population or 1 in 5 internet users.

VR has been slower to catch on in the U.S., and eMarketer says it will not reach mass adoption in the foreseeable future, with the category is being driven mainly by 360-degree photos and videos on Facebook and YouTube. This year, 22.4 million people in the U.S will engage with a form of VR monthly, up 109.5 percent from last year.

The gaming industry is driving the growth of VR headset usage, according to eMarketer. This year, 9.6 million people in the U.S. will use a headset to experience VR every month, a jump of 98.7 percent over last year.

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