- Snapchat expanded its visual search features to recognize labels on food and wine packaging. Users of the photo-messaging app will see nutritional information about food and tasting notes when they scan labels with its in-app camera, Engadget reported.
- After pointing the camera at a bar code on a food label, Snapchat users will see basic nutritional information and analysis of comparable health benefits provided by Yuka, an app that provides details about food and cosmetics, along with suggestions on healthier choices.
- Scanning the label on a wine bottle will show shoppers a pop-up card with the price, rating and tasting notes from wine app Vivino. The marketplace app has information on more than 12 million wines, along with recommended food pairings, per its website. The visual search expansion offers opportunities for marketers of packaged food and wine to provide extra information to in-store shoppers.
Snapchat's visual search features for labels could be significant for marketers of packaged food and wine as the image-messaging app's users seek out more information about products in stores. The nutritional information can help consumers make more informed decisions with Yuka's suggestions on healthier alternatives, while the wine tasting notes helps people learn more about the product and aids in comparison shopping through Vivino.
Visual search is becoming a more common feature among a wider variety of apps — and now social apps like Snapchat — including those that integrate search information with shopping. Google this month started offering several search-based features, including a visual search tool to help mobile users match images with products they can buy online. Google Lens, the search giant's image-recognition tool, lets people tap and hold an image in the Google app or Chrome browser on Android devices to find an identical or similar product for purchase at an e-commerce site. Pinterest last summer started letting users of its digital pinboards shop for items scanned with Lens, its visual search tool that uses image-recognition technology to identify objects with a smartphone camera.
Snapchat's expanded visual features are also a sign of how parent company Snap is integrating the image-messaging app with other apps that extend beyond social media. The company in June introduced dozens of features for Snapchat at its annual Snap Partners Summit, along with developer tools like Camera Kit to bring its augmented reality offerings to external apps. The company at the same time added support for mini-programs that run inside Snapchat and allow services while people chat, and a new Bitmoji for Games feature to let users put their Bitmoji avatars into mobile games.
Additional visual search features in Snapchat can help to generate engagement with the app beyond its core audience of social media users. As the app expanded its user base to 249 million worldwide, with the recent addition of 11 million users in the third quarter, it also boosted revenue 52% to $678.7 million — the fastest annual growth in three years — as advertisers ramped up their media spending to reach its largely Gen Z and millennial audience.