4. New Snap tools show shift from messaging app to camera platform
Snapchat on Thursday introduced a slate of new products, tools and partnerships that move the company closer to being a platform for developers and businesses, rather than just a chat app for friends, as Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
Why it matters: With increased investments in things like gaming and augmented reality, Snapchat's business is beginning to look more like that of Chinese tech giants, which make money via value-added services like in-app purchases, rather than just ads.
The big picture: Snapchat's growth in messaging, while stable, is not enough to compete with titans like Google and Facebook for ad revenue long term.
- So Snapchat is looking to build a developer ecosystem around its camera technology to unlock new forms of revenue.
What's new: Snapchat launched several new tools and shows Thursday at its second annual Partner Summit, broadcast virtually this year.
For developers, Snapchat has created Snap Minis, which allows them to make small apps within Snapchat's mobile app using standard web tools.
- Minis will integrate within conversations on Snapchat, so friends can coordinate, say, buying concert tickets or meditating together.
- Camera Kit brings Snapchat’s AR capabilities and camera engagement into developers' own apps so they can, for instance, integrate Snapchat Lenses (augmented-reality filters).
- Lens Studio is a new, free desktop application designed for developers and artists to build and distribute AR Lenses on Snapchat.
For users, Snap has created features that make things like gaming and content consumption more interactive.
- Local Lenses allows users to create 3D worlds on top of their own neighborhoods, almost like an AR-driven version of Minecraft.
Sara has more here.