By Paresh Dave
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) From tools that help people organize going out to new and innovative Snapchat hardware, like the company’s video camera sunglasses, there are plenty of new attractions on the horizon for Snapchat and its user base.
Los Angeles Times
As Snap Inc. moves toward an expected initial public offering this year, it’s natural to expect increased predictability and transparency from a company that has thrived so far without much of either.
In question in 2017 is whether Chief Executive Evan Spiegel will make Snap act more like Facebook or if he will continue forging a new route.
My guess: He’ll walk the line between the two.
Last year, I correctly predicted Snapchat would add new ways to edit and watch photos and videos, chat as a group and appease the desire of advertisers.
Here’s what’s in store for 2017.
-Platform: A decade ago, Facebook began allowing other companies to develop applications that interacted with the social network. Soon, the Facebook logo appeared all over the internet. The functionality fostered the popularity of everything from “Farmville” to Spotify to Tinder. It enables people to log into third-party services with their Facebook credentials and for those apps to interact with Facebook data.
Snapchat has begun dipping its toes into becoming a platform on which others can rise. For instance, a partnership with Shazam puts the company’s music-identification technology inside Snapchat. Expect Snapchat to stay with the boutique approach through 2017, doing one-off integrations with financial, video gaming and sports companies before matching Facebook’s wide-open approach.
-Personalization: Two people with the exact same friends would have nearly identical experiences on Snapchat. They’d see the same posts from friends and media companies in the same order.
But as Snap turns to maximizing the amount of ads people see, first displaying the posts likely to interest users the most could suck them into the app for longer. For now, Snapchat uses elements of gaming for that purpose: Friends are encouraged to interact every day to increase their chat “streak” score. That approach avoids the pitfall of sweeping people into silos, where they’re only exposed to opinions like their own.