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Snapchat uses augmented reality to team up with Amazon

Justin Cabrera

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You ever wish you could just look at something cool and then buy it within a few seconds? There’s good news for you, my impulsive friend, as Snapchat has teamed up with Amazon, allowing Snap users to scan items using their phone cameras, taking them directly to their Amazon store page.

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As shown in the picture above, scanning an item in Snapchat will bring up a window for its Amazon store page, displaying its price and a few related items. The technology combines augmented reality with Amazon’s machine-based visual learning software, which analyzes shapes, colors, and logos in order to identify products. Given the gigantic variety of items available to purchase on Amazon, this kind of software is no small technological feat.

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Shopping features have been slowly added to popular social media apps for a while now, but haven’t really gained much momentum because they took too many extra steps. Snapchat and Amazon’s partnership is ingenious in that it only takes a tap or two to get to the product page, encouraging impulse buying and increasing profits. Ensuring impulse buying is especially important for Snapchat’s userbase, as its users tend to be younger and more prone to buying things en masse.

It is currently unknown what the financial details are in this partnership. Some believe that Snapchat will get referral money from Amazon when its users buy products, while others think that this may simply be a new feature that Snapchat hopes will allow it to gain new users and engage and maintain current ones.

This feature is slowly being introduced throughout the United States, and it will hit international users soon.

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