Mobile Mobile Buzz

Snapchat’s AR ads, Android Pay face recognition and more: mobile buzz of the week

The lines between digital, mobile, technology and apps are blurring in today’s world. We at Robosoft are keen followers of developments in this arena. Here’s a quick summary of what’s buzzing:

Mobile retail shopping increases in popularity and Amazon is the most loved retail brand

According to the 2017 ‘Love List Brand Affinity Index’ released by Condé Nast and Goldman Sachs, almost one-third of apparel shopping happens on mobile. The survey ranks Amazon as ‘Love List’s Most Loved Brand’ of 2017, ranking within the top 10 across all fashion categories.

The survey further states that 35% of women and 42% of men are making their apparel purchase on mobile and consumer values are shifting to focus on efficiency, speed and convenience.

The retail industry is going through a major shift right now, with the major chunk of the consumers – the millennials and the gen Z, preferring mobile shopping over in-store shopping. Mobile has evolved from being a device where consumers find information on products to a device where they research, compare and make a final purchase. It is clear that to cater to the demands of the gen Z consumer, retailers will have to adopt a digital and a mobile-first strategy.

Android Pay APK hints code for possible face recognition feature

According to a report by 9to5Google, Google might be looking at adding a facial recognition feature to the new version of Android Pay (Version 1.22). 9to5Google conducted an “APK teardown” of the new version and found a ‘Visual ID’ feature.

This new feature if launched will help users to make a purchase without touching their phone and also allow them to easily redeem their loyalty points. While making a purchase with Android Pay, once the identity of a user is confirmed using a camera and Google’s Facial Recognition feature the loyalty points will automatically be applied to the purchase.

Last year Google launched ‘Hands Free Payment’ pilot program (a way to make mobile payments without having to reach the phone) which was shut down in February this year. Visual ID is a revamped version of the Hands Free feature. Since Visual ID will require a camera mounted on the checkout location/stores it might get adopted by stores at a slow rate.

Snapchat widens AR based targeting opportunities with new ad products

Snapchat did a major update to its Sponsored Creative Tool with three new products – World Lenses, Audience Lenses and Smart Geofilters.

World Lenses are an extension on Snapchat’s Sponsored Lens, which allows advertisers to turn users’ selfies into ads. With World Lenses, advertisers will also be able to modify the surrounding of the selfies with floating 2D and 3D objects, interactive content etc.



Audience Lenses will allow advertisers to buy regionally targeted lenses. According to TechCrunch, advertisers will be able to target audience based on their demographics and Snapchat’s ‘Lifestyle Categories’.

Smart GeoFilters are an updated version of Snapchat’s Geofilters. This ad type will automatically add location information or other real-time information to a nationwide or chain Geofilter.

Snapchat is losing out to Instagram in app downloads and with its stagnant Q1 growth, this is a redemption effort by Snapchat. With innovative AR capabilities, Snapchat is attracting advertisers to widen its revenue channel. For advertisers, it an exciting opportunity to reach out to a wider audience as over 1 in 3 daily users plays with Lenses every day and Snapchat notes & Snaps with Geofilters are viewed over 1 billion times a day.

YouTube makes live-streaming accessible to more users

YouTube is scrapping its ‘1000 or more subscribers’ requirement for live-streaming. Earlier, YouTube had a ‘10,000 or more subscribers’ requirement for live streaming which was brought down to 1000 last month. Though the subscriber requirement has been dropped, the feature is yet not open to all and is accessible only to select few verified accounts.

YouTube’s live streaming option is an exciting option for users to connect with their audience in real-time. Though YouTube is a late entrant to the live-streaming market, given the fact that it is the most popular video viewing platform, it may surpass other live-streaming platforms like Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope very soon.


Also read: Google I/O 2017 – beyond Android, focus on machine learning, AI and more

Surabhi Ghosh Chatterjee
Surabhi Ghosh Chatterjee is our soft spoken Marketing Communications Manager with an extensive experience in B2B marketing in the tech domain.

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