What are you doing right now? It’s a waste of time. Because The Great Snapchat Egg Hunt is upon us. The company has hidden 1 million eggs across the U.S. and Canada. And from now until the evening of April 1, they’ll be up for grabs in a race to collect the most.
To find an egg, you open the Snapchat map and travel to locations where you see them–which are public areas like parks and coffee shops. Once you arrive at an egg, you tap the map and enter Snap’s augmented reality mode to claim the egg. The prize seems to be . . . an unlocked Snapchat filter that involves a very, very unsettling Easter Bunny shaking its tail at you.
Your egg tally will enter a leaderboard with your friends, and you’ll also see where you rank on the overall egg hunter scale. (You can still participate without your score made public if you’re in Snapchat’s private “ghost mode.”)
Snapchat has experimented with virtual scavenger hunts before, but this is the company’s first, fully Pokémon Go-style assault, in which location, virtual objects, and augmented reality all blend to build a metagame that anyone can play.
At a time when Snapchat has been orchestrating layoffs and weathering a storm of user and influencer revolt, it will be telling to see how much hype the company can build with hidden pixel eggs. After all, collecting the most eggs appears to offer zero real-world rewards beyond bragging rights–people need to still believe Snapchat is fun and cool to take part. But I’ll give this to Snap: the company continues to aggressively build a platform with borders that are almost impossible to define. Is it a camera? Is it a messaging app? Is it a mapping service. Is it a retailer? Is it a game? Is it a news and entertainment play? Is it the gateway to 24/7 augmented reality? Or is it the next social media company to be shut out by Facebook?
In fact, Snap is many, or even all of these things. But while we argue it out, those eggs aren’t going to hunt themselves.