Snap Inc. continues to dive into diverse augmented reality functions as it recently announced its features that will reveal hidden information in the world around its app users. The company especially explained its updates that will allow people to solve math problems and launch GIFs on smartphones through camera detection.
The multimedia messaging app explores new AR features as it started partnerships with Photomath and Giphy. The new augmented reality function will be called “Scan” and will serve as a support tool for quick math problem solving and easier multimedia messaging.
The company already delved into non-image functions in the past where its scan codes identified songs through “Shazam.” The feature also allowed naming objects so users can search and buy them on Amazon. But currently, Snapchat is crystallizing its plan to produce more useful and entertaining functions to help its users appreciate better the world around them.
“Scan” works by tapping and holding on the Snapchat camera to scan objects in users’ surroundings. Answers to math equations are said to magically appear when problem solving options will be chosen. Furtheremore, scanning a slice of pizza will reportedly launch a dancing Giphy pizza slice on the screen, making GIF image search a lot easier.
Users will also see this year the all-new Snapchat AR Bar which will add dedicated buttons to “Scan.” This will allow the creation of a new lens or access to the 400,000 AR Lenses created by Snapchat’s community.
Explaining further what the new update does, Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel said at the company’s Snap Partner Summit:
“Our camera lets the natural light from our world penetrate the darkness of the internet . . . as we use the internet more and more in our daily lives, we need a way to make it a bit more human.”
During the press conference, Spiegel also announced about Snap Inc.’s plan to launch an ad network, power Stories in other apps, launch a real-time multiplayer games platform, and a slew of other augmented reality functions to keep their users loyal to them.
Another upcoming update will be called “Landmarkers,” which will transform famous places with power animated AR effects. This will be done with the help of point cloud data from user-submitted Our Stories featuring major landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, NYC’s Flatiron Building, LA’s Chinese Theater, Buckingham Palace, and Washington DC’s Capitol Building. Some of the effects users can expect include spewing rainbows and shoot lightning from these landmarks.
Developers and lens creators will also enjoy a new Creator Profiles where they can create a portfolio of all the Lenses they’ve contributed on Snapchat. They will also have access to new AR templates to create new hand, body and pet effects through the Creator Profiles which will also handle all the hardcore computer science.
Meanwhile, Spiegel went further to reveal how Snap is already at the top of the mind of people who want to scan an object to find out important data, saying:
“In the United States, Snapchat now reaches nearly 75 percent of all 13 to 34-year-olds, and we reach 90 percent of 13 to 24-year-olds. In fact, we reach more 13 to 24-year-olds than Facebook or Instagram in the United States, the U.K., France, Canada and Australia.”
The comparison data was reportedly from Facebook’s ad manager estimates. The values are said to demonstrate that amongst the social media goers who want to experience augmented reality, Snapchat appears to be the leader. However, Snap’s top executives explained that such growth isn’t the company’s success metric anymore.
When Instagram launched the IG Stories, it cut down Snap’s user growth from 17 percent per quarter to only stabilizing the quarter. Hence, Spiegel went on to explain that deepening user engagement is Snap’s path forward. The company is reportedly making it possible with their continuous updates on their augmented reality features.
Also, Snap is earning more from its ad revenues which are mostly generated in their Lens Carousel. As more people are starting and continue to use the AR filters and the development tools that Snap provides, the more brands and developers are paying to promote their Lenses in the platform.
Snap will start looking at how it will optimize user engagement to beat Facebook and Instagram in the next phase of Augmented Reality.
While IG Stories have 500 million daily users, most AR filters used by the platform re to apply stickers to users’ faces and not to interact with the world. On the other hand, Snapchat uses thousands of fun AR entertainment experiences to normalize AR exploration and unlock the potential of the Scan platform.
Snap executives foresee this to improve user experience that will make Snapchatters remain loyal to them and forget about Instagram or Facebook for AR effects. Also, the company claims their augmented reality functions to foster creativity with Snap’s co-founder Bobby Murphy saying:
“If we can show the right Lens in the right moment, we can inspire a whole new world of creativity.”