Snap challenges Instagram with host of updates for Creators, Businesses
Snap Inc. has announced a host of updates that allow Snapchat to consolidate its reach among creators, developers, and businesses alike. Unveiled at the Snap Partner Summit on Thursday, these updates include Story Studio, Creator Marketplace, Gifting, and a slew of features for businesses to reach their target demographic. The virtual conference also revealed that Snapchat has more than 500 million monthly active users.
Story Studio allows creators greater control over Spotlight content creation
Snapchat's creator friendly endeavors are spearheaded by a brand-new iOS app called Story Studio. Scheduled to be released later this year, the app is optimized for editing videos meant for Snapchat's TikTok-clone Spotlight. Targeted at professional creators who prefer to use their PCs to upload content, Story Studio allows direct uploads of 4K videos from Chrome or Safari browsers.
Creators can save edits, add complex effects with Story Studio
Story Studio gives creators analytics in the form of trending topics, sounds, and lenses on Snapchat. The app's editing suite includes frame-precise trimming and the ability to add captions, stickers, sounds, and other media to remix trending content or add memes. It also provides access to Snapchat's library of licensed music, in addition to allowing saving complex projects for editing later.
Gifting allows creators to make money off user donations
Gifting is another new creator perk that allows fans to monetarily reward Snap Stars. Users can buy Snap Tokens to send Gifts to creators through Story Replies. Snapchat, however, will take an unspecified cut on these transactions. Unlike Story Editor, which has so far only been announced for iOS, the Gifting feature is scheduled to hit both Android and iOS apps later this year.
Spotlight goes global; Accessible through web portal sans Snapchat account
Interestingly, approximately 40 percent of Snapchat's users are located outside of US and Europe, which explains why the company is rolling out its TikTok-clone Spotlight to global markets. Introduced last November, the feature has now attained 125 million monthly active users. Snapchat has even created a web portal for allowing people without Snapchat accounts to watch Spotlight content.
New Screenshop tool brings augmented reality to shopping experience
Snapchat also revealed that its augmented reality (AR) tool Scan has 170 million users worldwide. It's redoubling on this feature by bringing the Scan button to the home screen. This is meant to incentivize users to try out the new Screenshop feature, which uses the AR tool to serve shopping recommendations and even display recipe recommendation when it spots cooking ingredients.
Screenshop will allow users to 'try on' clothes virtually
The AR shopping experience also allows users to get clothing recommendations by scanning outfits. The feature lets users "try on" clothes and accessories, while also integrating voice commands and gestures to make the process streamlined. Other camera-enabled features include new Camera Shortcuts, which automatically suggest camera modes, lenses, and soundtracks using AR capabilities. Both Scan and Camera Shortcuts will begin rolling out today.
Snapchat ties up with LEGO for collaborative Connected Lenses
Snapchat is taking its AR game further with collaborative Connected Lenses, which allow users to enjoy AR experiences such as games together even if they aren't physically next to each other. The company has tied up with LEGO for it first Connected Lens. It allows multiple users to build LEGO models together either in the same room or while collaborating across the Internet.