Snap Debuts Context Cards To Enlarge Business Interaction

Opening up a host of commercial possibilities, Snap on Tuesday unveiled “context cards."

Along with a slew of partners from TripAdvisor to Foursquare to Michelin to goop, the cards connect users’ within app experiences to an array of products, services, and business information.

The cards also let users take simple actions, such as calling for a ride with Uber or Lyft, or reserving a table through OpenTable, Resy or Bookatable.

Snap has also integrated its popular Stories features into context cards, which should make it easier for users to see more Snaps from places of interest. Clearly a work in progress, Snap says it’s hoping to learn from users’ and business partners’ experience with the cards.

If the rollout goes well, Snap believes the cards could help transform Snapchat into a “visual starting point for learning more about the world,” the company said in a statement. Snap believes its app could increasingly offer an augmented reality experience through which consumers can more seamlessly interact with businesses around them.

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As part of that broader vision, Snap just recently began inviting brands to sponsor 3D World Lenses.

Giving brands a sense of the ad’s possibilities, Warner Bros. and Bud Light showed off their 3D World Lenses, late last month. Bud’s ad features a ballpark beer vendor who has “Buuuuuuud Light, here” for anyone in the real-world environment in which he’s placed.

To promote the new “Blade Runner” movie, Warner Bros.’ World Lens includes a “Spinner” car from the sci-fi sequel.

This past May, Snap began offering advertisers a basic outward-facing Lens capability, limited to floating objects and atmospheric effects. Now, objects -- from a beer guy to a flying car -- can be more precisely integrated into environments. They also recognize surfaces. Once locked in place -- viewers can actually walk toward, away and around them.

Since then, the company says brands have seen positive results with Lenses. The units drive a 19.7 point lift in ad awareness, 6.4 point lift in brand awareness, and 3.4 point lift in action intent, according to internal findings.

The new 3D ads can be bought directly from Snap’s team and run as National Lens, a targeted Audience Lens or a swipe-up attachment to Snap ads. The targeted ads can be tailored to users by age, gender and interest.

Snap first launched 3D World Lenses in April. Since then, the social giant gave birth to what CEO Evan Spiegel has called “the world’s first augmented-reality superstar.” The comment -- made during another disappointing earnings call -- was a reference to Snap’s dancing hot dog.

As of mid-August, the little 3D character had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times with the Snapchat app, Spiegel said.

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