The effects were built using Facebook’s Spark AR platform

By Brandy Shaul

31 mins ago

Facebook recently partnered with three cultural institutions (Le Grand Palais, the Palace of Versailles and The Smithsonian) to bring augmented reality effects to those organizations’ Instagram profiles. These effects allow users to view items from each institution’s collections in AR and, in some cases, to learn about them through on-screen text. This feature will be added to more profiles in the future.

Our guide will show you how to use these kinds of AR effects. We’ll use content from The Smithsonian as an example, but this feature works the same across any profile with this feature enabled.

Note: These screenshots were captured in the Instagram application on iOS.

Step 1: When viewing a profile that contains AR effects, tap the AR effects tab (the smiling face icon).

Step 2: Tap the AR effect you wish to view.

Step 3: Tap “Try It” in the bottom-left corner of the screen. Note: You can also tap the down arrow near the bottom-right corner of the screen to save this effect to your camera for future use.

Step 4: Point your device’s camera in the desired direction and tap the screen to “place” the object down in front of you. Note: If you want to view the object from all sides, make sure to place the AR object so that you can physically “walk around it” in the real world. Also note, we’ve covered up our camera lens for the sake of our guide. When you use an AR effect, you’ll see your current surroundings behind the object you’re placing.

Some objects may come with additional information that you can read about the piece. When this is the case, you can tap the numbers near the bottom of the screen to read each piece of information.

If a profile has more than one AR effect, you can switch to another one by tapping the desired effect at the bottom of the screen.

Finally, you can tap the capture button at the bottom of the screen to take a picture of what you’re seeing, which you can then share on your profile.