How Snapchat intends to transcend augmented reality

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Tom Chatfield
@tomchatfield

Summary

  • Snapchat unveils its new augmented reality features

Since its launch in 2011, Snapchat quickly won over teens. In the United States, this social network is used by nearly 75% of 13-34 year olds and 90% of 13-24 year olds. The application is therefore much more popular than other networks such as Facebook or Snapchat with this age group. Nevertheless, despite its popularity, Snapchat is struggling to find its way to growth and profitability.



This is the reason why its creator Evan Spiegel decided to keep adding more new features to strengthen user engagement and encourage them to use the application on a daily basis. This will make it possible to satisfy advertisers, and attract new ones.

To achieve this goal, Evan Spiegel intends to continue exploring an area in which Snap Inc is a pioneer: augmented reality.

Indeed, since 2015, Snapchat has allowed its users to add augmented reality filters to their selfies. Filters mainly allow dress up using virtual elements : dog's face, sunglasses ...

Now, however, the firm intends to go further by exploiting this technology to allow interactions within the application. In this context, Snapchat will welcome several new augmented reality features.

Snapchat unveils its new augmented reality features

First of all, the "Scan" platform will allow third-party developers to use various tools to provide augmented reality services. For example, Giphy has created a service that allows objects to be located by pointing them using the smartphone camera or even to place GIFs that adapt to the environment. Likewise, the Photomath service allows mathematical problems to be solved automatically by scanning them using the smartphone.


Otherwise, the famous Stories will also benefit from some new features. Now that Facebook and Instagram are also offering their Stories, it is important for Snap to stand out from the crowd. Snapchat will now be able to recognize famous landmarks around the world and add artistic effects to them.


Likewise, partner developers will be able to take advantage of new tools allowing the application to recognize the user's hands and body. The domestic animals can also be identified.

The last novelty concerns the new Snap Games section. It is an augmented reality video game platform directly accessible within the application. It is the developer Prettygreat, acquired by Snapchat a few months ago, who will be responsible for creating games for this platform. Other partners like Zynga will also contribute to the project.


With these new augmented reality features, Snapchat is likely to attract even more users to its app. However, apart from advertising, the firm does not seem to come up with any more ideas to “monetize” this traffic. Anyway, we will have to wait a few months to see if this initiative bears fruit and helps re-launch Snap's growth.




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