Augmented facets: A semiotics analysis of augmented reality facial effects


  • Federico Biggio Department of Excellence of Philosophy and Educational Sciences, University of Turin, Italy; Department of Hypermedia, University of Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint Denis; France



face filters, facial effects, Instagram, Spark, augmented reality


Augmented reality facial effects represent a new trend in social media communication based on ‘short forms’. The article proposes a tripartite analysis: a semiotic analysis of digital facial effects used to empower the natural users’ faces; a deconstructionist analysis of Spark by Meta, one of the major software applications to create such effects and, finally, a critical reflection on the practices prescribed by Spark and the stereotypical aesthetics of augmented selfies. The conclusion states that such forms of augmented reality effects must be conceived not as oriented to the cognitive improvement of users’ performance but rather as forms of users’ empowerment and self-awareness.


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How to Cite

Biggio, F. (2021). Augmented facets: A semiotics analysis of augmented reality facial effects. Sign Systems Studies, 49(3-4), 509–526.