RIYADH: Snapchat has unveiled innovative story features, including Communities, After Dark and Friendship Flashbacks, that enable users to more creatively document special moments.
To highlight improvements shown off at the annual Snap Partner Summit, the platform held a press conference in Riyadh on May 31.
The event showcased a variety of new functions and developments in enterprise solutions, retail innovation, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence technologies.
“In Saudi Arabia, Snapchat is a part of people’s lives, with over 22 million active users, including a remarkable 71 percent of parents. It’s heartwarming to witness the deep engagement of Snapchatters in Saudi, who open the app nearly 50 times per day, embracing its role as a daily companion,” said Abdulla Alhammadi, Snapchat regional business lead for the KSA market.
“Our augmented reality features, particularly the Lenses, have struck a chord with over 85 percent of KSA users, demonstrating their popularity and impact. Equally inspiring is the fact that almost 60 percent of Saudi Arabia’s Monthly Active users are 25 or older, showcasing the diverse appeal of Snapchat across different generations.”
Users of Snapchat have several options for staying in touch with loved ones using the features: Communities, After Dark, and Friendship Flashbacks that let users capture memorable occasions in more interesting ways.
Friendship Flashbacks bring throwback memories from Snapchat Memories directly into conversations with friends, After Dark offers a dedicated story format for evening memories, and Communities allows students to share their perspectives with classmates.
A customized 3D Snap Map will make it simpler to find landmarks and popular destinations, and also provide new location-sharing capabilities.
Additionally, the Bitmoji design has been improved to offer avatars that not only look like Snapchatters, but also dress like them, with a greater selection of shoppable clothing and accessories.
Snapchat recognizes the power of its AR innovations and the camera in enabling storytelling and empowering content creators. And to further support creators, a Stories revenue sharing program has been introduced. Eligible creators with at least 50,000 followers, 25 million monthly Snap views, and a minimum of 10 Stories per month and at least 50,000 followers can now monetize their Stories through ads.
This program incentivizes creators and provides the community with more engaging content from their favorite creators.
Snapchat also aims to provide creators with more growth opportunities through new features such as Snap Map.
By tagging locations in Spotlight Snaps or saving Stories they love, creators can expand their reach and offer the community the chance to discover new talent. Moreover, dozens of new tools have been developed for creators, including the integration of Linktree, a leading link-in-bio platform, into their new Public Profiles.
Additionally, new Story updates will allow a broader audience to discover and appreciate creators’ creativity while maintaining Snapchat as the best platform for genuine friendships.
Snapchatters aged 18 and older can now post their own Public Story with a simple tap, and creators gain access to content performance insights and Story Replies.
Additionally, a new tool recommending Sounds to pair with Lenses will make Snaps even more expressive.
Snapchat also unveiled the AR Shopping Suite by ARES as part of its mission to revolutionize the shopping experience, AR Enterprise Services.
Innovative AR and AI technologies like Try-On and Fit Finder are integrated into customers’ own apps and websites by this package.
To bridge the gap between the virtual and real worlds in retail settings, Snapchat has unveiled AR Mirrors. This technology has already been adopted by companies like Nike and Coca-Cola.
Zainab Hawsawi, head of communications for Snap in Saudi Arabia, told Arab News: “AR is revolutionizing the way we live, and its impact is undeniable. In MENA, 85 percent of users engage with Lenses on a daily basis, emphasizing its integration into our daily lives. Looking ahead to 2025, we foresee an exciting shift where the majority of Gen Z and millennial social media users in Saudi Arabia and the UAE will actively embrace AR.
“Ipsos research reveals that shopping is the top motivator for consumers to utilize AR, and at Snapchat, we’re proud to introduce innovative AR solutions to the Saudi market. From Live Garment Transfer to AR Enterprise Services Shopping Suite and AR mirrors, we aim to enhance the shopping experience, making it more enjoyable and seamless for all.”