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The 2020 ‘DeepFake’ Trend: What are SnapChat and TikTok Up to?

In a world where the boundaries between the real and the virtual are increasingly blurring away, who decides what information is authentic and what is technology’s artful recreation of a fragment of one’s imagination? Today, we are ascending to unparalleled advancement in terms of digitization and technology. With social media platforms acting as supremely powerful media to express oneself without barriers, individuals, business pages and groups and social media advertising agencies are leveraging technology to come up with extremely innovative analogies to drive home their points of view and, wherever applicable, promote their brands and indirectly drive sales. As the world takes a turn towards a new year and new beginnings, the social media domain has already welcomed a refreshing digital trend – the DeepFake technology. Leveraging this happening feature on Snapchat and TikTok, users can now overlay their faces on to already existing videos, thus taking these platforms to a new level of augmented reality. Here’s a sneak peek into this emerging technology: What’s the Deal About DeepFake?

DeepFake technology essentially entails bringing about a rather personal perspective to an already existing video by overlaying one’s face over that of the individual (or sometimes even an animal!) featured in the original clip. Snapchat’s introduction of its new ‘cameo feature’, which incorporates this DeepFake technology, reportedly stems from its acquisition of AI Factory, the mastermind behind this video intervention. Such an acquisition also implies that SnapChat is probably looking to further upgrade its services vis-à-vis this video feature. Meanwhile, the video-sharing and social networking sensation TikTok is also working towards establishing a DeepFake-powered feature. However, this feature is quite different from the one introduced by SnapChat, in that it enables users to scan their faces in various angles and then integrates biometric technology with DeepFake to enable users to overlay their faces on other pre-existing videos. This interesting feature provides a unique addition to the developments in the field of augmented reality. What are the Possible Implications of Adopting DeepFake?

While the DeepFake-powered social media features have brought about a very refreshing and novel strategy for individuals and businesses to come up with entertaining and funny videos, there is also an element of concern associated with this trend. This chiefly stems from the fact that there is a possibility of a misuse of this facility. Moreover, such an overlaying of one’s own face over another’s does not appear absolutely realistic and does have some loopholes even now. However, with advancing technology, one can expect a steady improvement in this feature as one goes along. Conclusion

Technological advancement in social media is remarkably expanding the scope of digital marketing and redefining the interaction patterns of users, businesses and digital marketing firms with and on these platforms. With DeepFake’s advent into TikTok and Snapchat right at the start of 2020, one can expect a rollicking year full of trials, triumphs and a lot of fun in these channels. However, we also hope that these social media platforms tread with caution and ensure overall safety for their millions of users.

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