We honestly don’t give Snap enough attention. While TikTok and Instagram dominate pop culture, Facebook is the media’s favourite bad guy, and journalists still gravitate to Twitter, Snap has quietly built a growing empire.
Now at 500 million monthly active users
, Snapchat is on the up. 1 billion Bitmojis are sent per day, and more than 250 million people use the Snap Map feature per month, according the company’s figures, shared at its third annual Snap Partner Summit yesterday.
But more exciting than that, Snap was the first company to show off its version of the new generation of AR glasses. The new Spectacles may not be on sale yet, but they’re out in public before Apple or Facebook’s more anticipated offerings have emerged. As the Verge reports:
The new Spectacles have dual waveguide displays capable of superimposing AR effects made with Snapchat’s software tools. The frame features four built-in microphones, two stereo speakers, and a built-in touchpad. Front-facing cameras help the glasses detect objects and surfaces you’re looking at so that graphics more naturally interact with the world around you.
Currently best thought of as a ‘developer edition’, these glasses have a 30-minute battery life and will be given to AR effect developers to see what they can build for them.
This is the right approach. As Google Glass showed us, launching to the public with a completely new product that does very little can kill enthusiasm for a project quickly. By taking the approach is has, Snap can grow excitement for the new Spectacles but only offer them to the public when it has a compelling range of things people can actually use them for.
However exciting that may all be, Snapchat creators may be less pleased to hear that from next month, Snap is no longer committing to paying out $1m per day
to the makers of the most entertaining Spotlight content. Instead, CNN reports, there will be more sustainable features to support creators:
One new feature called Gifting lets Snapchat users pay creators. Snapchat users can purchase Snap Tokens, the app’s currency, to buy virtual gifts and send them to Snap Stars, the app’s name for verified creators. Snap and creators share the revenue, but the split was not disclosed. This type of tipping feature is available on other social platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and TikTok.
Well, you didn’t expect the giveaway to last forever did you?