Halloween-themed features are fun ways to get consumers into the seasonal spirit with friends while also encouraging engagement with social media platforms.
Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of All Hallows' Evening), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a spooky celebration observed every year in a number of countries on October 31 - the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day, also known as All Saints' Day. In 2017, Halloween falls on a Tuesday.
In places like the US, Halloween originated from the Celtic fringes of Britain and was adapted over the decades by Christian traditions, immigrants' conventions and an insatiable desire for sweets.
The origins of trick or treating and dressing up were in the 16th century in Ireland, Scotland and Wales where people went door-to-door in costume asking for food in exchange for a poem or song. Many dressed up as souls of the dead and were understood to be protecting themselves from the spirits by impersonating them.
Google is celebrating Halloween with a video of Jinx, the lonely ghost, who embarks on a mission to find the perfect costume - and a place to belong.
Social media companies like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook are getting in on the action adding new filters and features leveraging on the spookiest holiday fun. This provides more user generated content and possibilities of monetization for the platforms as brands also participate in the frenzy.
Snapchat, the first platform to ever come up with face filters and lenses, also has a number of available filters and lenses up for the occasion. The face filters or lenses, include one that turns the users into a dancing skeleton, as well as filters that can turn the users into a vampire or zombie and one that features a spooky strobe light.
Facebook’s sister app, Instagram, also has some new Halloween theme features on the app. You can find stickers like little devil horns, candy corn and zombie hand stickers to help decorate your photos on the app.
There are also face lenses on this platform that can turn the users into a zombie or make them look like they’re in a horror movie. Instagram introduced a “superzoom” camera format for users to record videos with spooky sound effects. Instagram users can find the Superzoom button next to the Boomerang feature under the record button.
Facebook's update added the most new features leading up to the holiday. The features were added to live, camera and messenger with options to decorate any posts with fall themes. A Halloween-themed game within the app’s camera lets you turn into a trick-or-treater collecting candy. Then share their highest scores with a photo and challenge their friends to play.
In camera as well as in messenger, users have access to 12 masks and lenses available to dress up for their photos or for chatting with friends. There are also Halloween effects in live for users who want to get in the spirit of Halloween while broadcasting to their friends or followers. The tools are available until Nov. 1, per a blog post by the company.