Tech: Snapchat's latest tool lets users point their cameras at products and buy them on Amazon (SNAP, AMZN)

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snapchat amazon visual search

When Snapchat users spot an item they want more information on, they can point the app’s camera at the product or its barcode, pressing down on the screen until the app recognizes the item. They will then have the option to buy the product from within Snapchat.

  • Snapchat users will soon be able to use the app’s camera to search for products on Amazon through a feature called Visual Search.
  • When Snapchat users spot an item they want more information on, they can point the app’s camera at the product or its barcode, pressing down on the screen until the app recognizes the item.
  • Users will then have the option to purchase the item on Amazon.

Snapchat users will soon be able to shop on Amazon by taking pictures of whatever catches their eye.

The app maker said on Monday that a new feature called Visual Search will allow users to point the app's camera at shoes, jackets and other products to find the item on Amazon and to buy it. The feature, which is still in testing phase, will bring up information about a product from Amazon based on just a photo of the item’s barcode or the physical product itself.

Here’s how it works:

  • When Snapchat users spot an item they want more information on, they can point the app’s camera at the product or its barcode, pressing down on the screen until the app recognizes the item.
  • A card will then pop up within the Snapchat app with information from Amazon on the product.
  • Snapchat users can click on the card to purchase the item, or search further.

The new feature, which Snap said will be rolled out "slowly" to users, confirms a July report by TechCrunch.

The partnership with Amazon is Snap's latest move toward giving Snapchat additional functionality without requiring people to exit the app. The company opened its doors to more third-party extras in June, with the release of Snap Kit, a platform that allows developers to integrate their own apps into Snapchat. The new platform has been used to let people send musical GIFs over Snapchat, but major companies such as Tinder, Patreon, and Postmates have also expressed interest in partnerships.

Amazon has previously utilized the photo-messaging app for exclusive “Snap Deals,” or promo codes that users can enter when shopping on Amazon to get discounts on particular products.

Snapchat is seeking to regain momentum with consumers and investors, amid reports indicating that users are spending less time on the app. The company has also lost a growing number of executives in the past year, including the company’s chief strategy officer, Imran Khan.

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