Snapchat quietly releases new filters based on what you’re snapping
Snap quietly launched new filters that recognize what’s being snapped and provide a contextually relevant border or sticker. The update comes ahead of a massive app redesignas the company tries to keep users and advertisers engaged. The filters began gradually rolling out to users last week, a Snap spokesperson confirmed to Mashable.
Snapchat users could unlock them by actually snapping those images, or we also tried via Google Images.
As shown above, a picture of my friend’s dog launched the filter, “IT’S A PAWTY!” A Google Image of the beach unlocked a sticker that says “Ocean View.”
There may be two food-related filters. A Google Image of a turkey unlocked the sticker “WHAT DIET?” A snap of a bunny pillow by my friend suggested the filter “NOMZ.” It’s unclear if Snapchat is suggesting bunnies are delicious themselves or that they enjoy nomz aka yummy food.
These new filters arrived after another update to Snapchat’s filter carousel. The carousel originally had the so-called “smart filters,” showing time, temperature, and speed. Those filters are now available as stickers in the creative tool bar, found on the right side of the screen.
Filters not only provide Snapchat users with an easy way to decorate snaps sent to their friends and to their Stories, but they also generate revenue for the company. Brands can pay to sponsor filters, which can be activated based on a user’s location or available to a subset of users based on interests.
These contextual filters could serve as ads in the future. Snap filed a patent for an advertising system that used object recognition to serve relevant filters back in 2015. That patent was published by the U.S. patent office last July.
Snapchat already does some image recognition in the app. Users can search for publicly available Stories based on keywords like “dogs.” They also can search through their own snaps in Snapchat Memories via keywords.
Snap has been working to make the app more contextually relevant to its users, as it battles for user attention with other social apps like Instagram. Last month, Snapchat released Context Cards, a feature that shows information related to a particular restaurant or business when someone views a publicly-viewable snap related to that place.
Users can expect much bigger changes for Snap in the coming weeks. Snapchat is undergoing a massive redesign, which CEO Evan Spiegel teased at the company’s disappointing earning reports earlier this month.