You Can Make the New £20 Note Animate with Snapchat

By Holly Brockwell on at

There's a new £20 note out in circulation today, and if you're one of the people who still has Snapchat installed on your phone, you can bring it to life in augmented reality (AR).

The new note features JMW Turner's painting 'The Fighting Temeraire' – which is apparently Britain's favourite painting (news to us) – and the artist's self-portrait.

If you're one of the three people in the Venn diagram overlap between JMW Turner fans and Snapchat users, install the lens, point it at the note and you'll see the painting come to life, hear sound effects, and see Turner's signature appear as if by magic.

Here's how to do it:

  • Open the Snapchat app
  • Point the camera at the Snapcode above (if you're reading this on a phone, you'll need to open the article on another device to be able to point your camera at the Snapcode. Don't blame us, we didn't make it!)
  • Press and hold on the Snapcode to unlock the AR Lens
  • Once unlocked, hover over the new £20 and watch as it transforms. You'll need your volume on for the sound effects.

If you don't have a new £20 yet, use this image instead:

The Fighting Temeraire will apparently become some of the most widely distributed art in the world now that it's on the £20 note, which is the most common banknote in the country with a circulation of about two billion. Don't know about you, but we would not mind having two billion £20 notes.

The painting itself lives in Room 34 of the National Gallery in London, and you'll be able to make the Snapchat effect work on the actual artwork too.

The comfy-sounding Ed Couchman, General Manager of Snap UK, explains:

"The launch of the new £20 will result in Turner’s paintings being amongst the most widely distributed artworks in the UK, maybe even the world. We want to make sure that Snapchatters are encouraged to take note, look at the cash in their wallet and appreciate these great paintings. Hopefully this partnership will help introduce a whole new generation to one of Britain’s greatest ever painters."

Bank of England Chief Cashier Sarah John adds:

"We’re incredibly excited to launch the new polymer £20 note today and are pleased to be partnering with Snapchat to bring the note to life in an entirely novel way. Turner is one of the most influential British artists and we’re now bringing his art to the pockets of people all over the UK. I hope the public will enjoy using, and snapping, their Turner £20s."

Got a new twenty yet? We haven't, can we borrow yours? We'll definitely give it back.