Since February of 2017, Instagram Stories officially blew past Snapchat. Then Facebook has launched its own copycat feature. And now, Youtube introduces so-called ‘Reels’ to its 1.5+ billion of users. Clearly, it’s time for Snap to start fighting for life once again.
And that’s exactly what they are going to do – with the new app redesign, smart AR filters, and friends/business separation.
What’s up with the new design?
“We are separating the social from the media, and taking an important step forward towards strengthening our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media,” – says CEO of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel.
From now on, Snap divides friends’ content and all of the other posts. The new design completely clears the left screen off the publisher content, taking the Discover tab to the right. Thus, the new Friends screen will show only friends’ stories mixed with private messages. The content order is finally defined by the ‘best-friend’ algorithm (like in Instagram).
The Discover tab will feature a smart sorting solution too. Snapchat has organized it similarly to how Netflix suggestions operate – the app will send you the content according to what you have already watched.
Life after Stories – New AR filters to bring ad revolution
Amidst Facebook and Youtube competition, it’s highly unlikely that the yellow craze will come back ever again. However, Snapchat can still make the most out of the fan base it currently has. How? Object recognition filters.
Snap has already quietly added a few of them just before releasing the new redesign. This may sound boring, but in fact, AR ads are the next revolution, and here’s why.
AR filters are not just all fun and games, they are an incredibly powerful promotion tool when used the right way. Imagine taking a snap of the Golden Arches with your kid to find out that there’s a deal on Happy Meal today. Or getting a set of filters with dresses when going to a clothing store. Promoting products and services inside of the shooting experience itself has an enormous potential for the ad market. And Snapchat goes straight ahead for it.
Supposing that Snapchat fails to boost its user growth with the more intuitive UI/UX, the new algorithms and new smart filters will still help to keep the loyalists busy.
But will this mean more ad revenue for Snap despite declining community growth? For now, it’s still uncertain whether the market is ready for AR ads and the revolution they bring. So we’ll have to wait and see, although the move is definitely interesting.
Even in February of 2017, when the TIPIT’s Solo Selfie app (AR project we’ve developed) got $2.5M worth of investments, such ads seemed to be a trend of some distant future. But with the introduction of Facebook AR Studio and now – the new Snapchat filters, we can be sure that AR ads are definitely coming in 2018. And they are coming in big.