Snapchat is launching a new feature named “Context Cards” that enhance the platform’s ‘swipe up’ feature, and provides deeper integration with third party apps and platforms.
According to an interesting interview, Evan Spiegel claims that “evolving really quickly is part of the job here.” This statement rings particularly true these days, as Instagram Stories have surpassed Snapchat in terms of active users, and there are even reports that influencers are fleeing the hyped platform.
So, Snapchat has been reacting, and has launched a series of updates in the last few months – most notably its AR art Lens and a new tool to manipulate and change the colour of the sky in Snaps. “Not too bad,” one may say. However, these changes are all part of part of the drill – and will eventually be copied by Facebook. The real deal, is to change the platform itself.
So, Snapchat is launching a new feature – named “Context Cards.” It’s nothing groundbreaking to be honest, but it’s something. Context Cards basically enhance the swipe up capability already present in the app. Users will be able to swipe up to some snaps and see more info or connect with other services such as Lyft, Uber, OpenTable or Resy (editors note: AirBnB works with Resy, too) . Does this go beyond Snapchat’s main premise? Perhaps.
But it provides deeper integration with third party apps and platforms, and these may turn out to be the life vest Snap Inc could need soon.
There are many among us who could claim so, however, let’s not forget that the app introduced links to its snaps, back in July, effectively stating that the image is not the medium anymore, and admitting that users want to discover content and information on their app. As such, sure, Snapchat only added an enhancement to its current modus operandi.
The answer is much more complex though. Ever since its IPO, and Facebook’s relentless race to practically copy the app, Evan Spiegel and Snap Inc. are steering the shift towards well-known paths (links to snaps and Context Cards), but also towards uncharted territories (read Selfie Drones), that could potentially liberate the company from the app’s demise.
Image courtesy of The Verge