Snap announces new features, latest updates, and AR experiences at the Annual partner summit. Updates span across three key areas — Augmented Reality, Developers, and Creators.
Snap Inc. held its third Snap Partner Summit virtually with a keynote address by co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, as well as other team members from across the company, announcing new products and partnerships across developer, creator, and augmented reality platforms.
This year’s Partner Summit is the most comprehensive look at the company’s long-term vision for its camera —showcasing over a dozen new partnerships and partner-powered innovations that help people express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.
The company announced that Snapchat reaches over 500 million monthly active users with roughly 40% of its community located outside of North America and Europe.
In India, Snapchat has grown DAU over 100% year-over-year in each of the last five quarters.
The announcements span three key areas — Augmented Reality, Developers, and Creators.
New Spectacles bringing AR to life
Snap Inc. unveiled the next generation of Spectacles, its first pair of glasses that bring augmented reality to life. Not for sale and designed for creators, Spectacles enable augmented reality creators to discover new ways to fuse creativity and utility through immersive experiences built-in Lens Studio. Designed from a human-centric approach, Spectacles tap into the senses of sight, touch and sound to bring 3D Lenses to life.
Spectacles are fully integrated with Lens Studio. This powerful desktop application designed for augmented reality creators and developers is used to build and distribute Lenses across Snap’s AR platform. Through Lens Studio, creators can wirelessly push their Lenses to Spectacles directly for rapid testing and iteration, allowing creators to build and interact with their Lenses in real-time. Snap’s Spatial Engine within Lens Studio enables creators to build reactive, multi-faceted Lenses that leverage six degrees of freedom and hand, marker, and surface tracking, grounding Lenses in the physical world and realistically bringing AR creations to life.
Introducing Scan to the home screen + Screenshop for e-commerce
More than 170 million Snapchatters use Scan every month, and now Snapchat is adding Scan to the home camera screen. Scan matches what you see through the camera with relevant AR experiences.
Screenshop is a new Scan feature: when you Scan a friend’s outfit or your own saved photos, it helps you shop similar looks with recommendations from hundreds of brands. This builds on the existing Scan capabilities, which can use the Snapchat camera to identify types of plants, dog breeds, wine bottles, car models, songs, etc. through partner integrations.
AR Shopping and Business Solutions
With over 200 million Snapchatters engaging with AR daily, Snap has added a new round of technically-advanced and fashion-forward features that make virtual shopping and ‘try-on’ experiences that much more realistic, accurate, and easy to use. Snap is introducing several new AR try-on experiences alongside fashion partners:
- Farfetch is reimagining retail using 3D Body Mesh and new voice-enabled controls, letting Snapchatters now say what items they’re looking to browse and try on in AR.
- Prada is tapping into new gesture recognition capabilities that let shoppers signal to the camera when they want to try on another item.
Public Profiles for Businesses
Now any partner can establish a permanent presence on Snapchat to showcase their best AR Lenses and Stories — plus a ‘Shop’ page where Snapchatters can browse and buy, which turns Snapchat into a new organic point of sale. Snap has been beta testing this since July 2020. Eventually, Public Profiles will also enable businesses to integrate with the Map, adding more reach across the core tabs of the app.
Launch of Connected Lenses
For the first time, friends can interact with each other through Lenses, from across the room or across the world. For example, build a LEGO kit together, wherever you are.
New API-powered Lenses
Brands can soon seamlessly build AR Shopping Lenses by simply uploading their product catalogues and 3D product assets through the API in Business Manager. Snapchatters using these Lenses will get real-time product and pricing updates, and brands will see new analytics on Lens usage. In addition to shopping, partners like Major League Baseball and Strava will now feed real-time scores and stats right into Lenses through Snap’s API.
Lens Studio 4.0
Snap’s AR creator ecosystem is booming: with 200,000+ Lens Creators around the world, who have made nearly 2 million Lenses, that have been viewed by Snapchatters more than 2 trillion times. The updated Lens Studio, which is free desktop software, adds 3D Body Mesh, Cloth Simulation, and a Visual Effects Editor that make AR look and move more realistically.
Snapchat is an increasingly indispensable platform for developers — there are now over 250,000 developers with Snap Kit, nearly 30 million people playing Snap Games every month. Snap also announced a new feature called Map Layers.
Introducing Map Layers
This important new feature layers specialized experiences from partners and Snap right on the Map, personalized for you. Partner brands like Infatuation’s Layer shows you great restaurants, Ticketmaster’s Layer shows you which concerts are playing where, and a Snapchatter’s own Memories Layer shows you on the Map where you took your favorite saved Snaps. Snap is starting with select partners.
New Camera Kit partnerships with Disney and Bumble
They bring the technology and fun of the Snapchat camera right into partners’ applications. This fall, in celebration of the Walt Disney World® Resort 50th anniversary, Snap is collaborating with Disney PhotoPass® Service to bring Snap’s Camera technology to Walt Disney World Resort through Camera Kit. Launching today, Bumble matches can send video notes with Snapchat AR to make their “getting-to-know-you” chats more engaging.
Poshmark & Ticketmaster Minis + prominent new home for Games & Minis
Introducing the Poshmark Mini to join daily shopping events, and Ticketmaster Mini to browse shows and find friends to go with. And you can now find Minis and Games in a more accessible ‘tray’ in the app — just swipe down from the home Camera screen. This is where Snap Map was found before it was moved to a main tab.
Bitmoji partnership with Unity
Beginning today game developers can bring Bitmoji into their mobile, PC and console games, right through the Unity platform.
This new integration for app developers brings the 34+ million Bitmoji, Stickers, and GIFs from Snapchat right into your app, and at your community’s fingertips.
Snapchat is a place where Creators can grow their audience, build their business and entertain the community.
Launch of Story Studio
Story Studio is Snap’s new standalone app that offers powerful editing tools to make professional content for mobile, on mobile. It’s a fast and fun way to make more advanced, engaging vertical videos that share right to Snapchat – and anywhere else. Built with Creators in mind, Story Studio will offer insights into trends happening on Snapchat. It is launching later this year on iOS and will be available for free. The app’s suite of tools and features include:
● Insights into trending #Topics, Sounds and Lenses across Snapchat
● Access to Snap’s robust catalog of licensed music and audio clips for use in video projects
● Frame-precise trimming, slicing and cutting, as well as frame-precise placement of creative elements like captions, stickers, Sounds and other media layers
● Visual effects using Snap’s unique augmented reality technology via Lenses and cross-clip transitions
● The ability to save and edit projects until you’re ready to share
● Direct posting of the finished video to Spotlight or Stories (via Creative Kit), download to your camera roll, or open it in other installed apps
● Easy login with Snapchat (via Login Kit)
Subscribers can now send Gifts to official Snap Stars to kickstart conversations. Snap Stars earn a share of the revenue from Gifts, which are received through Story Replies and purchased via in Snapchat Tokens.
Spotlight on the web
A new destination at snapchat.com/spotlight where Creators can upload video into Spotlight directly from Chrome or Safari, and anyone, even without a Snapchat account, can see the best of what’s happening.
Launch of Creator Marketplace
Brands can use this new portal in the self-serve Business Manager to find and contact verified creators, starting with top AR Lens Creators and, in the future, Snap Stars and Creators on Spotlight.
Inclusive Camera efforts
Snapchat’s camera is one of the most widely used in the world, and the company recently announced plans to make it more inclusive, working with several noted directors of photography from the film industry to learn techniques they use to best capture actors with darker skin tones. These features will become available in Camera Kit, so developers all over the world can easily make their cameras more inclusive.
Snap believes these announcements will help deepen Snapchatter engagement across the services, onboard more developers and creators to power experiences its community loves. This ultimately gives business and ad partners new ways to leverage Snapchat, from AR to Maps to Minis, that drive their businesses. This year’s core theme is also ‘utility’ — whilst these announcements are fun, they also deliver concrete business solutions for the partners and utility for the community.