Apr 19, 2018

Snapchat will allow users to buy products via augmented reality

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Snapchat is letting users buy products through a new advertisers' augmented reality feature in its app called "Shoppable AR."

Why it matters: It's one of the most sophisticated uses of augmented reality for marketing that's been rolled out to date — and now that people can buy things directly using the tool, it's likely to spur more investment in the technology.

The bigger picture: Until now, AR has mostly been used to do marketing at the top of the "funnel" by driving awareness around brands. By making it possible to buy things through AR, the tool can now be used closer to the bottom of the funnel, all people to actually buy products.

How it works: When brands buy an AR "lens" or animated image/video that pertains that can be overlaid on any picture or video taken by a Snapchatter, they can now also add a button that allows users to buy things directly from the moveable image.

  • Four brands have already begun using the feature: Clairol, Adidas, King, and STX Entertainment.
  • "We no longer live in a world where it has to be either brand or commerce, consumers don’t think that way and neither should we,” says Chris Murphy, Head of Digital Experience, adidas US.

Go deeper: Snapchat has taken the lead on pushing augmented reality mainstream.

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America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday, while Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 as of Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."