Snap Inc. could be working with Amazon to bring visual search integration into Snapchat. The feature is believed to have the codename "Eagle," and apparently uses the camera to identify products and bring up their Amazon listings.
It was discovered inside the code of Snapchat for Android, described to be a "Visual Search" feature where the user presses and holds to identify an object, song, barcode, and more.
Are Snap Inc. And Amazon Working On Visual Search?
The feature works by sending data to partners such as Amazon, Shazam, and others. Once an object or song has been scanned, the user will get an option to "see all results at Amazon," as TechCrunch reports. App researcher Ishan Agarwal first tipped off the feature.
Visual product search could give Snapchat an edge over competitors such as Facebook, which has been cloning Snapchat's core features nonstop and putting them on Instagram. It could also make Snapchat's camera a more general purpose tool for interacting with objects in the real world instead of a toy solely for augmented reality tricks.
What This Means For Snapchat
If done properly, Eagle could very well make Snapchat a more meaningful search tool aside from a social media avenue. What's more, suppose Snapchat works out an affiliate program with Amazon, then that could serve as an entirely new revenue stream. That's something Snap Inc. desperately needs after posting a $385 million loss in the last quarter.
It's not exactly clear how the feature will work, but according to the code, users will be able to share URLs, read reviews, view sellers, and send product listing to friends.
Both Amazon and Snap Inc. have yet to comment on the alleged feature. It's not clear if Amazon is indeed working actively with Snapchat or is simply being used as a search results landing. It should be noted that Snap Inc. sells its Spectacles on Amazon, so if they are working together, it wouldn't be the first time.
A visual search feature makes sense considering Snapchat's history. In 2016, the app introduced an integration with Shazam that allowed users to identify songs playing nearby. Eagle seems to be an expansion of this functionality but in a visual context.
Such an addition could turn Snapchat into an actual useful tool instead of something one would use for taking pictures or recording videos. It also makes perfect sense for a feature such as this one to come to the app — Snap Inc. is a camera company after all, and these days cameras are not just for taking pictures anymore. They're also for identifying objects, translating signages, and even playing games.
Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more.