Snapchat Lenses are coming to the desktop and Twitch streams

Snapchat Camera

Your favorite Snapchat filters are no longer restricted to your mobile phone – Snap just pushed out a new desktop app for Windows and macOS that applies the same effects to your webcam, and you don't even need to log into Snapchat to use it.

Brighten up your video calls, enhance your YouTube vlogs, or just mess around with the effects – it's up to you. Snap has also announced a special partnership with Twitch that means the Lenses can be used alongside live video game streams, and can be changed on the fly while you're playing pretty effortlessly.

"With Snap Camera for desktop, choose from thousands of Lenses, including classics made by Snapchat as well as new designs created daily by the Lens creator community through Lens Studio. This means more streaming and sharing with Lenses," says Snap.

Get your lenses here

The new app is a rather obvious push to get Snapchat in front of more users – Lenses are no longer unique to Snapchat, but they remain one of the most fun features inside the app. Maybe a few desktop users will start picking up Snapchat on mobile again.

In another move to broaden its appeal beyond vanishing photos and videos, Snapchat is now showing a five-chapter, sci-fi mystery thriller set in Silicon Valley and called Dark Matter on its Discover page. Produced by the startup Hooked, the first chapter launched on Friday, with new episodes appearing once a day.

We'll have to wait and see whether desktop apps, short-form entertainment, and wearable gadgets are enough to help Snapchat fight back against the might of Instagram and Facebook. If you want to use Snapchat Camera, it's available to download for free now.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.