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Snap Bets Big on Commerce and Community

4 MINUTE READ | May 26, 2021

Snap Bets Big on Commerce and Community

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Abby Long

Abby is PMG’s senior managing editor, where she leads the company’s editorial program and manages the PMG Blog and Insights Hub. As a writer, editor, and marketing communications strategist with nearly a decade of experience, Abby's work in showcasing PMG’s unique expertise through POVs, research reports, and thought leadership regularly informs business strategy and media investments for some of the most iconic brands in the world. Named among the AAF Dallas 32 Under 32, her expertise in advertising, media strategy, and consumer trends has been featured in Ad Age, Business Insider, and Digiday.

Last week delivered back-to-back developer conferences that offered a glimpse into how some of the most popular technology companies are reimagining the future of commerce, entertainment, messaging, and work. Here’s what you might have missed. 

On Thursday, Snapchat’s Partner Summit featured keynote presentations from co-founders Evan Spiegel, Snap’s CEO, and Bobby Murphy, Snap’s CTO, among other leaders in the company, where they unveiled new products and shared community news and highlights from creators in the Snap community. 

Similar to its competitors, Snap’s user growth and engagement skyrocketed during the pandemic, with daily users up 22 percent from a year ago. Snapchat now reaches 280 daily active users and more than 500 million monthly active users around the world. The vast majority of users are younger than 30 years old, fortifying the app’s ongoing growth and enduring popularity with the younger generation. Interestingly, more than 250 million Snapchatters utilize the Snap Map each month to check in on their friends and discover new places. 

The first Snap announcement from the Summit explained how cameras historically have struggled to capture darker skin tones, then explained the company’s commitment to fixing this problem. Snap’s camera usage has grown tremendously, with five billion Snaps created per day. 

Related: Snap acquires AR startup WaveOptincs for $500 million

Snap’s AR ambitions were on full display at the Partner Summit, as connecting and engaging with the Snap community by using the most sophisticated technology remains a top priority at the company. Snapchatters now have new ways to use the social platform to shop their favorite brands, discover new ones, scan a friend’s outfit to get similar looks via “Screenshop,” and even virtually try on full outfits using AR filters that layer over the user’s current outfit. Shoppable capabilities in Snapchat will soon become even more robust, businesses will be able to dynamically feature real-time inventory in AR Lenses without additional developer support. Currently, over 200 million of Snapchat’s 280 million daily active users engage with augmented reality (AR), representing over 70 percent of Snapchatters. 

“Snap continues to corner the market on AR, and we’re excited to see brands continuing to expand their AR efforts into a full-funnel experience — not just using AR for entertainment, but providing real utility through AR try-on and product discovery opportunities,” said Carly Carson, PMG’s social director. 

Snapchat even added innovative voice and gesture controls that make virtual try-ons easier for when a Snapchatter is posing and trying on virtual outfits from a distance. These new content experiences build upon Snap’s robust AR features and capabilities, providing an even more personalized experience for Snap’s growing user base. 

Unveiled in 2017, Snap Map functioned as a personal map to show where a Snapchatter’s friends were. Soon after, businesses from universities to stores were integrated to help the Snap community better discover and explore new places. Snap reports there are over 30 million businesses on the Snap Map, and now, all brands (even ones without physical stores) can create a Public Profile for Businesses. These Public Profiles will allow brands to share unique content and experiences, letting Snapchatters browse products, try on outfits, and buy directly through the Shop feature on a Public Profile. Eventually, these Public Profiles will operate as online storefronts and eventually integrate into the newly redesigned Snap Map. 

Related: Snap unveiled a new pair of Spectacles designed specifically for augmented reality creators. 

Snapchat’s community-driven entertainment platform, Spotlight, now reaches over 125 million active users around the world. To help brands connect with Snapchat creators, Snap unveiled the Lens Creator Marketplace. This self-service portal simplifies the discovery and partnership experience for ad creators and verified Snap creators at scale. Snapchat is phasing out its Spotlight $1 million giveaway, and in its place, Snap will pay “millions per month” instead of $1 million a day

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As Snap doubles down on AR features and commerce capabilities, the social platform is on its way to becoming a premier destination for shopping, short-form video, long-form video, gaming, and more.