Snapchat Celebrates 500 Million Users And Some Pretty Cool New Features

Pamela Connellan
on 31 May 2021

At this year’s recent Snapchat Partner summit, the company announced it now has over 500 million monthly active users and nearly one of every two smartphone users in the US uses Snapchat. As well, roughly 40% of the Snapchat community is now located outside of North America and Europe. But in even better news, this year’s summit took a good look into the future and along with some great new partnerships and innovations, the company announced these new features for Snapchatters which are pretty out there.

It’s obvious Snapchat is a place where creators can grow their audience, build their business and entertain the Snapchat community. Just take a look at these:

  • Scan – Snapchatters can now scan a friend’s outfit and shop the look — a new feature is Scan and already, more than 170 million Snapchatters use Scan every month. Scan matches what you see through our camera with relevant AR experiences and now when you use Screenshop after you Scan a friend’s outfit or on your own saved photos, it helps you shop similar looks with recommendations from hundreds of brands. This builds on existing Scan capabilities which use the Snapchat camera to identify types of plants, dog breeds, wine bottles, car models, songs etc. You can also use Screenshop to Scan food and recipes will come up which you could use – see two examples below.

  • Voice-enabled AR shopping — Snapchat has introduced new ‘voice-enabled commands’ which let you verbally control Snapchat’s AR Lenses with over 40 commands like ‘nest’ or ‘take a Snap’ so you’re hands-free.
  • New ‘gesture-enabled controls’ let you physically signal Lenses to take an action, like showing you a different item.
  • New ‘True Size’ technology enables accurate sizing for eyewear and sunglasses.
  • New 3D Body Mesh and Cloth Simulation allow brands to begin experimenting with full apparel outfits.

  • Snap and LEGO have got together to create the first Connected Lens – using AR to play with your mates — for the first time, friends can interact with each other through Lenses, from across the room or across the world. For example, build a LEGO kit together, wherever you are. See below:

  • The New Lens Studio 4.0 — our AR creator ecosystem is booming: announcing 200,000+ Lens Creators around the world who have made nearly 2 million Lenses which have been viewed by Snapchatters more than 2 trillion times. Our updated Lens Studio, which is free desktop software, adds 3D Body Mesh, Cloth Simulation, and a Visual Effects Editor that make AR look and move more realistically.
  • Introducing Public Profiles for Businesses — now any partner can establish a permanent presence on Snapchat to showcase their best AR Lenses and Stories — plus a ‘Shop’ page where Snapchatters can browse and buy, which turns Snapchat into a new organic point of sale. Eventually, Public Profiles will also enable businesses to integrate with our Map, adding more reach across the core tabs of our app.
  • Introducing API-powered Lenses — Brands can soon seamlessly build AR Shopping Lenses by simply uploading their product catalogues and 3D product assets through our API in Business Manager. Snapchatters using these Lenses will get real-time product and pricing updates, and brands will see new analytics on Lens usage. In addition to shopping, partners like Major League Baseball and Strava will now feed real-time scores and stats right into Lenses through our API.
  • New editing app to create vertical videos — Story Studio is a new standalone app which gives Creators a suite of intuitive editing tools to make professional content for mobile, on mobile. Use it to explore insights, like what’s trending across Snapchat’s Sounds, #Topics, and Lenses, and share videos right to Snapchat or anywhere else.

  • Snapchatters can now tip their favorite Snap Star on Snapchat with Gifting — subscribers can now send Gifts to official Snap Stars to kickstart conversations. Snap Stars earn a share of the revenue from Gifts, which are received through Story Replies and purchased via in Snapchat Tokens.
  • Introducing Spotlight on the web — a new destination at com/spotlight where Creators can upload video into Spotlight directly from Chrome or Safari, and anyone, even without a Snapchat account, can see the best of what’s happening.
  • Introducing Creator Marketplace — brands can use this new portal in our self-serve Business Manager to find and contact verified creators, starting with top AR Lens Creators and, in the future, Snap Stars and Creators on Spotlight. We teased this two weeks ago; it launches today.

Snapchat is an increasingly indispensable platform for developers — we now have over 250,000 developers with Snap Kit, nearly 30 million people playing Snap Games every month, and now Map Layers.

  • Never go to a gig alone again! Snapchat has launched live event matching with Map Layers — this new feature layers specialised experiences from partners and Snap right on the Snapchat Map, personalised for you. The Infatuation’s Layer shows you restaurants, Ticketmaster’s Layer shows you which concerts are playing where and the Memories Layer shows you on the Map where you took your favorite saved Snaps.
  • New Camera Kit partnerships with Bumble — The technology and fun of the Snapchat camera with Bumble matches where you can send video notes with Snapchat AR to make their “getting-to-know-you” chats more engaging.

  • Introducing Poshmark & Ticketmaster Minis + prominent new home for Games & Minis — introducing the Poshmark Mini to join daily shopping events and Ticketmaster Mini to browse shows and find friends to go with. And you can now find Minis and Games in a more accessible ‘tray’ in the app — swipe down from the home Camera screen.
  • Bitmoji partnership with Unity — beginning today game developers can bring Bitmoji into their mobile, PC and console games, right through the Unity platform.
  • Introducing Sticker Kit — this new integration for app developers brings 34+ million Bitmoji, Stickers, and GIFs from Snapchat into your app.

Environmental commitment: Snapchat has also launched a new, multi-year partnership with Re:wild, an organisation which protects and restores the wild. Together with Re:wild and the National Park Service, Snapchat users will be able to help to rewild southern California’s parks and work to bring back the region’s biodiversity.

Inclusive Camera — Snapchat’s camera is one of the most widely used in the world and they’ve ecently announced plans to make it more inclusive, working with several noted directors of photography from the film industry to learn techniques they use to best capture actors with darker skin tones. At this Summit we announce these features will become available in Camera Kit, so developers all over the world can easily make their cameras more inclusive.

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