Snapchat Announces New Features Galore At Partner Summit
During last week’s virtual Partner Summit, Snapchat announced a flurry of new product releases and marketing features.
Snapchat use has boomed in the past few months during the Covid-19 pandemic. The app now has over 229 million daily active users, and more than 100 million of those are in the US, more than Twitter and TikTok combined.
The headline feature from the Partner Summit, no doubt, was the new Snap Minis. Minis are lightweight third-party programs that live inside the app’s Chat section.
Snapchat’s mini programs are built on HTML5, essentially allowing businesses to operate within the platform much like an app would, but without the bit ticket costs associated with native App Store apps.
Evan Spiegel, Snap CEO via The Verge
“One of the things that’s so unique about Minis is that they provide these shared experiences with friends. Today, I think the app experience on people’s phones tends to be very siloed. In order to do anything with friends, it just takes a lot of work.
Maybe the easiest example is just movie tickets. It’s such a hassle, you text your friend, do you want to go to the movies? What do you want to see? You both go back and forth and like send links, or screenshots, and then try to find a time, and try to find a seat. Why is it so hard?
And to be able to do that together in a couple taps in a Mini, it just feels really different. And so I think like that’s where they can really provide value, by removing a lot of friction.”
At launch, Snapchat has an initially limited set of partners, including the meditation app Headspace and Coachella amongst others. Minis have been likened to the mini programs found within WeChat.
WeChat’s mini programs, let users buy food, pay their bills, and complete other tasks, generating $113 billion for WeChat last year, according to The Information.
Millions Of Businesses Come To Snap Maps
Taking a leaf out of Google Maps’ book, Snapchat is also opening Snap Maps to businesses, with further new geo-features in the pipeline.
Snapchat’s latest business feature, Places, would see Snapchat recommending and suggesting businesses and places of interest to the 200 million Snapchatters that use Maps monthly.
Launched in 2017, Snap Maps is a popular feature where users can view Snaps submitted to Our Story from all across the world – including sporting events, celebrations, breaking news and more.
For the uninitiated, its less like Google Maps and more like Instagram Explore, if it was map-based, not newsfeed-based. And, a bit weirder.
On the surface, while Google Maps and Snap Maps could draw parallels, they both serve very different functions for users.
Evan Spiegel, Snap CEO via The Verge
“When we look at building products we’re always trying to build something that’s 10 times better than the next best alternative. I think it would be really hard to be 10x better than Google at turn-by-turn. It’s definitely not a priority of ours.
I think where we do see a real opportunity is in personalising the map, and making it reflect the world the way that you see it.
But for us, the way that we see the map opportunity is really about creating a map that reflects who you are, who your friends are, what they’re doing, and what the world looks like right now, because you can see people’s snaps.”
The new Places feature within the Snap Map could provide businesses with a powerful means to drive footfall and physical traffic, and is probably long overdue.
The Place Profile includes Snaps from the location, the address, hours of operation, and reviews from TripAdvisor and Foursquare. It is now live globally.
As per Instagram, Facebook and Google My Business, for restaurants in the US, food orders will be launching soon through Postmates, DoorDash, and Uber Eats, ahead of an eventual global rollout.