I don’t think Snapchat is on a lot of people’s radars these days. (Though it did recently become worth more than Twitter.) But every time I hear about what they’re building I can’t help but think, “Wow, that’s really cleaver and creative. I see a longer-term vision at work here. And if it all works out, this could be something very special.”
This past week it was announced that the company is going long on something they call shoppable AR (augmented reality). Already, more than 170 million of its users engage with its AR features on a daily basis. Shoppable AR is an extension of that and will allow people to do things like try on clothes, similar to the way people currently apply selfie filters. Obviously this could be a boon to online shopping.
They’re also continuing to develop something called “Scan,” which allows people to scan a logo or barcode and trigger a specific AR experience related to a product they may be thinking about buying. It doesn’t take much to think about how some of this functionality could be applied to specific industries, such as real estate.
But will all of this fuel growth for the company? Or will Facebook simply steal the idea if or when it catches on?