Do you remember the time when Snapchat was used simply to send photos and videos for a short amount of time before them disappearing forever? It seems like a long time ago now, as since launching in 2011, the platform has continued to develop and introduce new features to become a multi-purpose social network.
Today, those vanishing snaps can be replayed for an unlimited time, you can broadcast your own snaps through the Snapchat Story function and store your old snaps in the Memories section. But these are just a handful of features which have solidified Snapchat’s place as a social media giant. Now collaborating with the world’s largest online retailer, Snapchat has introduced an exciting new feature which is set to change the way we interact with the platform.
Having developed from solely selling books to offering an immense variety of goods internationally, Amazon is a global eCommerce giant. Supplying everything you need from phone cases to producing their own devices such as the Kindle and Echo range, it is no surprise that Amazon has recently joined Apple in surpassing the $1 trillion mark in terms of value.
What is the new feature?
By joining forces, Snapchat users are now able to use the brand-new feature, which uses the Snapchat camera as a visual search engine for products on Amazon.
Whilst on the Snapchat app, pointing your device’s camera at a product – whether it be trainers or make-up – and pressing down on the screen will cause an Amazon window to pop up with a direct link to your desired product. Failing this, it will find similar items for you to browse. This intelligent search engine can also be triggered by a barcode on its own!
This feature gives Snapchat opportunities in the future to integrate other potential forms of image-based searches into the app to contribute to further growth. The direct use of the Snapchat camera resembles the current successful functions such as the well-known filters and their partnership with music-identifying app Shazam. Much like the new function, both of these features can be triggered by pressing the screen when using the Snapchat camera.
Two years ago, Instagram introduced their own ‘Stories’ feature and despite its remarkable similarities to the Snapchat Story feature, it became increasingly popular with users. The development of the new Snapchat visual search engine will host a completely different feature that Facebook and their line-up of apps lack. This is especially important given that Facebook have been Snapchat’s main competitors in recent years.
The new function can be compared to existing features on Instagram and Pinterest. Instagram recently introduced ‘Shop Tags’ where products are tagged in photos with a direct link to where you can buy it. Similarly, Pinterest adapts a ‘Lens’ feature which identifies objects through the camera and finds similar or related products, which is mainly used to seek inspiration as opposed to shop. However, none of these developments allow users to directly shop through the camera. With Snapchat jumping into this gap in the market and producing a brand-new feature, they will ignite significant interest within the social media world.
This comes at an important time for Snapchat as their stock prices have plummeted by 35% from the beginning of 2018. This can be blamed on their controversial redesign where users, including celebrities, voiced their confusion about the dramatic change leading to a loss of fans. Assuming the partnership with Amazon will provide affiliate payment, the new Snapchat feature could potentially gain significant revenue and allow Snapchat to bounce back from their all-time low stock price recorded earlier this month. The app’s new feature should also hope to win some users back from their competitors as Instagram has since grown to have a larger user base than Snapchat.
If successful, we can expect other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to introduce a variation of this feature as it will no doubt create a significant increase in revenue for B2C companies. Shopping through your camera may well become the normal way to do it!