Sep 24, 2018

Snapchat is adding visual search for Amazon products


Snapchat stock was up nearly 5% Monday after the company announced that it's testing a feature that will allow users to search for products on Amazon by using Snapchat's camera.

Why it matters: Snapchat has invested heavily in making its app more than just a tool for selfies. It wants to become a utility for users that can help them search for products, experience augmented reality and, now, shop.

How it works: Users can now open the Snapchat app and point their camera at a physical product or barcode. Once the camera scans and recognizes the item, it will prompt a card with a link for the product or similar ones available on Amazon. Users tap the card and are then redirected to complete their purchase through the Amazon app.

Sound smart: Snapchat is primarily thought of as a social media company, but these investments in its technology will help it become more like a visual search engine.

The big picture: Social media apps are becoming disruptive e-commerce players, mainly because they are able to leverage social data to better understand and cater to users' interests.

  • Snapchat began rolling out ads that feature augmented reality in April, giving marketers the ability to let users virtually test their goods before buying them.

Go deeper: The next big e-commerce disrupter

Go deeper

Renewable energy industry eyes next coronavirus stimulus bill

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The renewable energy sector is pressing for the "phase 4" coronavirus response bill to provide the aid that was omitted from the recent $2 trillion rescue package — and they might have a wider opening this time around.

Why it matters: Wind and solar developers are warning of project cancelations and layoffs as activity is frozen, supply chains are disrupted, and companies risk missing deadlines to use tax credits.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 874,081 — Total deaths: 43,291 — Total recoveries: 185,194.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 189,633 — Total deaths: 4,081 — Total recoveries: 7,136.
  3. Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: It's "a tale of two Americas" — as the rich are more likely to work from home and the poor are more likely to report to work.
  4. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  5. Coronavirus in custody: Inmates in all federal prisons are set to enter a 14-day quarantine on April 1.
  6. 2020 updates: Joe Biden said it's "hard to envision" the Democratic National Convention going ahead as planned in July.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Americans feel better about their finances after coronavirus stimulus

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey, margin of error ranges from ±5 to ±9 percentage points; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Americans have become more optimistic about the state of their finances in the last week, a new survey from Axios and Ipsos shows.

The state of play: While some remain worried, particularly those at the lower end of the economic spectrum, the data shows people are more confident about the security of their jobs and ability to take care of expenses after the passage of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act.