Snapchat's rolling out a new update which utilizes image recognition to provide contextual recommendations on filters for your Snaps.
First spotted by Mashable, the new process will display relevant filters based on the image content. Previously, when you took a Snap, the filters displayed would be generic, like a temperature guage or speed listing. Now, Snapchat will give you relevant options - while also highlighting the additional image data Snap could use in future to better target their ads.
Snap’s been moving towards more advanced image-recognition tools for some time - as far back as 2015, Snap Inc. filed a patent for image-recognition triggered ads that could be used to deliver custom, targeted ad content.
"For example, a photograph including an object recognized as a restaurant may result in the user being presented with photo filters that overlay a menu of the restaurant on the photograph. Or a photograph including an object recognized as a food type may result in the user being presented with photo filters that let the user view information e.g., calories, fat content, cost or other information associated with the food type."
In addition to providing contextual info, the option would also enable businesses to offer discounts and promotions based on the content of an image - for example, here, in an image from the patent, a person who's taken a Snap of a cup of coffee is offered a discount coupon based on that picture.
But even though Snap’s been working on them for some time, we’ve, as yet, seen only a few examples of Snap’s image recognition tools in practice – taking a Snap of the Spectacles logo, for example, at the time of launch provided the user with a custom filter.
This new addition could be an indication that Snap’s looking to move to the next stage with these tools, which could, as noted, mean a whole new ad offering from Snap Inc. and a subsequent rise in advertiser attention. Which is an area in which the company very much needs to start delivering results.
The benefits of this could be significant, and importantly, vary from what’s on offer on other platforms. If Snap’s able to provide contextual, image-recognition based ads, that could drive significant appeal with the app's tech-savvy audience. Imagine being able to get more information about a product by simply tapping on it within a Snap, being able to find directional data or session times by scanning an image of a theater or location. Snap’s also been building out their image recognition library since April, with their content search tools providing matches based on identified objects, among other factors.
The more data they have, the more advanced their systems will be. Snapchat has the capacity to provide such tools - which they’re demonstrating with this new update, but it’s likely just the beginning for the next phase of Snap’s ad content.