12th June 2020
Snap held its 2020 Snap Partner Summit yesterday and announced a number of updates including new AR features, third-party app integrations and real-time information sources.
AR: Snap has announced that it is expanding its scan options. It already partners with Shazam and Amazon but it is now looking to facilitate various options such as PlantSnap to identify plants and trees and Dog Scanner to identify dog breeds. It is also partnering with brands such as Louis Vuitton to enable logo scanning that links to AR experiences. Logo scanning will replace QR code scanning that exists in the app at the moment. Snapchat is also entering the world of Voice with new Voice Scan options which will provide Lens results based on the voice commands of users.
As for Snap Lenses, Local Lenses will enable users to build a shared AR world, they will be able to virtually paint buildings and monuments which will then be visible to others in the area. Snap is also launching Dynamic Lenses, via SnapKit, which will allow developers to include real-time info in their lenses. It is also rolling out a new SnapML process which will enable developers to integrate their own machine learning models into the Lens Studio.
Happening Now: Dynamic Lenses is not the only way Snap is looking to produce real-time info for its users. It has created a dedicated news product called Happening Now, launching in the US this week, that will provide information about breaking news and trending entertainment topics. For this feature, Snap has partnered with various media outlets including BuzzFeed News, ESPN, NBC news, The Washington Post, NowThis, Reuters, E! News and Bloomberg. Users publicly posted snaps will also feature in Happening Now. Snap has also said that it will provide up-to-the minute highlights of key entertainment and sports moments.
Additionally, Snap has made it easier for users to browse topics that they care about with the launch of Topic Stickers allowing users to tag videos with topics and videos with the same topic showing up grouped together. This is similar to the notion of ‘trends’ on other social media apps.
App Integrations: Snap Minis were also a big feature at the Partner Summit. Snap Minis are bite-sized versions of third-party apps built within Snapchat. These will be part of the SnapKit which is Snap’s developer’s platform, giving developers a new way to bring their services inside snapchat. Snap is also further expanding its tech outside of its own ecosystem, promoting the use of its camera tech in outside apps such as Triller and Squad in partnerships with Major League Baseball and Nike.
Other updates: A number of new Snap Originals were announced and also the expansion of Snap’s Mental Health Resource in-app platform Here For You. Bitmoji, which are personal emojis similar to avatars, will now be available within games which will add more personalization to the in-app gaming experience. There will also be business listings on SnapMap which will highlight shops and popular places with additional information such as the address, reviews and hours of operation meaning users will be able to find businesses nearby whilst on the app.
This raft of announcements shows how Snap is attempting to diversify its platform and introduce popular features similar to those on other social media platforms. The new AR features and App Integrations provide many opportunities to get creative in how you can reach your audience on Snapchat.