Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, held its Snap Partner Summit 2023 on Tuesday (April 19) and introduced a slew of new features and experiences to enhance user experience on the platform. The company has added new options to its signature story formats in the annual event and added fresh Calling Lenses and location-sharing options for the Snap Map. It has also introduced new programmes to assist creators in monetisation and engagement with their audience. Snap is also expanding its AR try-on features that let users use their cameras to virtually try on products. It is also rolling out My AI chatbot running on OpenAI's GPT technology to global markets. The social media company claimed that it has reached over 750 million monthly active users around the world.
At the virtual summit, Snap announced new Calling Lenses that let users appear together in one frame during video calls without any grid. Stories are getting two new options — After Dark and Communities. The former can be used to post late-night events, while the Communities feature lets users share their perspectives with classmates.
The Snap Map is also getting a new location-sharing option with landmarks displayed in 3D. When sharing your live location with a friend, they will see your Bitmoji, aka, a cartoon avatar of yourself. Snapchat claims that more than 1.7 billion Snapchatters show up as their Bitmoji. Additionally, it pointed out that Snapchat has now reached more than 750 million monthly users across the world.
Additionally, with the Stories revenue share programme and Spotlight reward programme, Snapchat is offering new ways for content creators to create income and engage with their audience and compete with Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram. Snapchatters with a minimum of 50,000 followers, 25 million monthly Snap views, and posting at least 10 Stories a month may be eligible to join the Stories revenue share programme. The Spotlight reward programme lets users create and share short videos with users and the company will reward the Top Spotlight Snaps.
Snapchat is also offering a wider audience for users above the age of 18 years. They would be able to post Public Stories with a tap. Further, with the latest scheduling feature, creators can decide the preferred date and time for their posts. Creators can now add a Linktree to their new Public Profile as well. This could counter the likes of features offered by TikTok and Instagram.
At the summit, Snap revealed its multi-year partnership with American entertainment company Live Nation. It will bring custom AR experiences to 16 of the biggest festivals, including Beyond Wonderland Southern California and Electric Daisy Carnival, the company said.
Snap also announced its integration with live event visualisation company Disguise to offer Snap AR to some of the world's largest venues and tours. "During future shows, fans can see AR visuals through the Snapchat camera that interact with the on-stage visual production, via Disguise RenderStream," it said. Besides this, Snapchat is joining hands with well-known DJ Kygo, to create AR experiences for some of his concerts.
Snapchat is also expanding its Shopping Suite to let users try on clothes and apparel virtually, using Snap's in-house AR Image Processing technology and 3D Viewer. With the Fit Finder functionality, shoppers will be given accurate fit and size recommendations.
Alongside AR shopping experience, Snapchat has introduced AR Mirrors that allow customers to try on products virtually. According to Snap, retail brands like Men's Wearhouse and Nike are currently using AR Mirrors to enhance the in-store experience. Snapchat has also teamed up with Coca-Cola to set up an AR-enabled Coca-Cola vending machine. Customers can control the vending machine with gestures.
Furthermore, Snap at the annual summit announced the launch of new Generative AI Lenses. With this feature, Snapchatters across the globe can transform themselves and the world around them into an animated sci-fi scene through the Cosmic Lens. The app will also give recommendations on Lenses that fit with the context of a photo or video a Snapchatter has captured. A new way to quickly add AR to Memories, Lense recommendations based on Snapchatters' unique preferences are the other new features.
The Santa Monica, California-based company announced the expansion of its experimental My AI chatbot that works on the latest version of OpenAI's GPT technology. The AI chatbot that was unveiled originally in February exclusively for Snapchat+ subscribers, is reaching a global audience now with brand new features.
My AI comes with multiple unique Bitmoji variations where users can design and personalise their own unique Bitmoji for their AI. The chatbot can be bought into conversations with friends by @ mentioning My AI and asking a question on behalf of the group. My AI will surface place recommendations from the Snap Map and suggest relevant Lenses. The community can send Snaps to My AI and receive a chat reply.
Snapchat claims that programming My AI helped it to assess the severity of potentially harmful content and temporarily restricts Snapchatters' access to My AI if they misuse the service. It is also working to incorporate My AI into our in-app parental tool.
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