- Snap introduced dozens of features for photo-messaging app Snapchat at its annual Snap Partners Summit. Nike, Triller and Major League Baseball are using Snap's new Camera Kit that lets developers bring Snapchat's augmented reality (AR) features into their apps, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Mattel and Nickelodeon have integrated their mobile games with the new Bitmoji for Games that lets Snapchat users put their Bitmoji avatars into games. BuzzFeed News, ESPN, NBC News, Reuters and The Washington Post are supplying breaking news to a new Snapchat feature called "happening now." Postmates, DoorDash and Uber Eats are among the delivery apps that will be integrated with a feature called Places that lists local businesses in Snap Map.
- Snap in the next few weeks will add support for miniature software programs called Snap Minis that run inside Snapchat and offer services while people chat. For example, movie-ticketing company Atom Tickets has a Snap Mini program that lets people book showtimes as they chat, while online meditation startup Headspace has a mini program for people who want to share a guided meditation session, per Snap.
This year's Snap Partner Summit, an event for developers, marketers and publishers, was revamped as a virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic and brought many announcements of features that will shape the way mobile marketers connect with Snapchat's 229 million users worldwide.
The updates to Snap's AR Camera are especially significant, considering that 70% of Snapchat users play with AR content every day, per Snap. Developers who work for brands and ad agencies can create more engaging experiences using SnapML lenses integrated with machine-learning technology, geotargeted Local Lenses and Music Lenses that have a soundtrack. Nike has pioneered the use of Snapchat's AR lens technology.
By using the new Camera Kit to integrate their apps with Snapchat's AR features, brands like Nike, Triller and Major League Baseball can provide a more seamless user experience (UX) for their mobile customers. Snap also highlighted updates to its software tools that include Dynamic Lenses as part of an expansion of its Creative Kit that lets companies build AR experiences. Houseparty, Nike, Yahoo Fantasy Sports and Rally Road are among Snap's partners featured in the rollout. For game publishers like Mattel and Nickelodeon, an integration with the new Bitmoji for Games can help to create a more customized experience for their gaming fans.
The introduction of Snap Minis also is significant, letting brands create apps that work inside Snapchat and handle a wide range of activities. Like the mini programs that run inside WeChat, the popular messaging app made by China's Tencent, Snap Minis could possibly handle a wide range of services from other apps including shopping, banking, ticketing, bill payment and ride hailing, among others. The Information last month first reported about the introduction of Snap Minis.
Snapchat's new services have implications for social media rivals, especially Twitter. The "happening now" feature that highlights breaking news, including shared posts from Snapchat users, resembles Twitter's focus on immediacy. Twitter is popular among newsmakers and journalists, though its audience of 166 million monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) is smaller than comparable metrics for Snapchat. Its breaking news feature may give some Snapchat users less reason to check in with Twitter for updates.