Over 200 million users open up Snapchat every day to take selfies, play games, share their surroundings and augment their world. For many, it’s how they see the world, and how the rest of the world sees them. Soon enough, commerce will make its way into that equation as well. Via TechCrunch, a secret project codenamed “Eagle”, has shown up in in the code of Snapchat’s Android app and focuses primarily on visual search including a partnership with Amazon.
We’re not entirely sure how the service will eventually work, but one can imagine that through the camera, users will be shown context specific information about their surroundings. Think Googles Lens but through social media.
This is a big step for Snapchat, which markets itself as a camera company, and could allow them to bring in revenue through additional sources. There’s sure to be some sort of affiliate deal in place with Amazon as well as updated advertising products to take advantage of these new capabilities.
What this also does is enhance the future functionality of Snap’s Spectacles. As the general public slowly but surely tosses aside their mobile phones for some sort of eyewear or visual product – the company in control will have an enormous opportunity to profit off of users surroundings. By integrating visual search into mobile cameras of today, Snap is setting itself up to be the Augmented Reality leader of tomorrow.
The mobile camera is the window into a users world. As hardware has evolved and gotten cheaper, the software that runs on it has paved the way for frictionless experiences to occur. That’s exactly what Snap is attempting to accomplish here. A frictionless shopping experience that’s triggered by what users see in the real world, what a friend sends them, or what they view on the platform within other channels.
For brands and marketers, it will be important to keep an eye on this feature to determine how best to set their products (or services for that matter) up for success. Snap’s Context Cards, which show information on businesses, allow for restaurant reservations, ride-sharing and more will likely become an increasingly important vehicle for engagement as commerce is brought into the picture.
As is the case with popular Snapchat innovations, be on the lookout for a similar Instagram clone in the coming months.