Snapchat’s Reportedly Developing a Shopping Feature That Links to Amazon

According to insiders, Snapchat is developing a new visual product feature, codenamed ‘Eagle’, which re-directs users of the social network to listings on Amazon’s marketplace.

App researcher, Ishan Agarwal, has reportedly told TechCrunch that Snapchat’s unreleased ‘visual search’ feature can be found hidden within the code of the social platform’s Android app.

“Press and hold to identify an object, song, barcode, and more! This works by sending data to AmazonShazam, and other partners,” he told the tech publication.

Snapchat
Code hidden within Snapchat’s Android app hints at new shopping feature.

While it’s unclear whether Snapchat is partnering with Amazon to produce this app, or if Amazon is just an example of where Snapchat content could direct users, Snapchat does seem to be upping its e-commerce game.

Rolling this feature out to the platform’s 190 million plus users could give Snap Inc a much-needed revenue boost, amidst rising competition with Facebook-owned Instagram.

In the last year, Snap Inc has experienced a 60 percent drop in advertising, and a less-than-desirable increase of users, drawing in a little over half of the eight million users it was expecting to attract in Q3.

Snapchat isn’t the only social brand currently working on expanding its e-commerce functionalities, as Instagram is now rolling its shopping bag icon for stories out on a wide-scale.

As of July 10, the Facebook-owned company has made its shopping bag icon in stories available to its entire suite of advertisers, as well as its new ‘Collection Ads’ feature. Originally launched in February this year, only a select number of advertisers were able to access the collection ads feature, which includes a swipeable carousel of display images within a user’s Instagram feed. Now, the feature is available to brands globally.

“We’ve been testing this solution with brands such as Netshoes, which saw a 6.3% lift in conversions and 42% lower conversion cost when using Collection [ads] compared with other ad formats,” Facebook wrote on its business blog.

Its ‘shoppable stories’ feature, which was trialled with select brands in June, is now also available globally.

According to Instagram, 300 million people from around the world use its stories feature on a daily basis, all of which will now be able to shop from their favourite brands directly through the social app.

ASOS is among the brands praising Instagram Stories for improving its social media ROI, claiming the social media feature helped increase sales. In the six months leading up to April 2018, the brand reported that almost twice the amount of users were viewing its content, resulting in a 10 percent increase in its half-year profits and a 27 percent increase in sales.

“When we recognise technology that can help our business, we fold in pretty quickly,” ASOS’ Chief Executive, Nick Beighton said in the company’s interim results statement.

Facebook’s announcement of the global availability of Instagram’s latest e-commerce features also noted a new video tool, which the company says will help advertisers create video ads for Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.

The new video tool is currently in testing mode but should be rolled out to all advertisers in August.

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