Social messaging app Snapchat has become somewhat renowned for its AR features, and it appears some of those will soon be in the hands of developers.
According to TechCrunch, Snapchat is preparing the launch of its first complete developer platform under the tentative name of Snapkit.
Earlier this year in March reports revealed that Snapchat had started testing a new ‘Connected Apps‘ feature in a beta release which would allow users to connect their Snapchat account with other apps.
Snapkit SDK will allow third-party app developers access to a number of Snapchat’s feature, including the aforementioned login authentication, Snapchat Bitmoji avatars, and most interestingly, Snapchat’s full-featured AR-enabled camera software.
The Bitmoji will offered a keyboard full of your avatar in different scenes, Snapkit could make it easy to add yours as stickers on photos or in other ways in third-party apps. Seeing them across the mobile universe could inspire more users to create their own Bitmoji look alike.
The report states Snapchat will let developers harness its editing tools and AR camera for their own apps.
“Instead of having to reinvent the wheel if they want to permit visual sharing and inevitably building a poor knockoff, apps could just add Snapchat’s polished camera. The idea is the photos and videos shot with the camera could then be used in that app as well as shared back to Snapchat,” also added by the report that “Snapchat would aim to get integrations such as Spotify’s recent tie-up with Facebook and Instagram for Stories.
Prototypes of the platform will allow other apps to offer a ‘Login with Snapchat’ option; similar to other major social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Allowing users to login with Snapchat credentials on other platforms would give users stronger ties to the platform, thus making it harder to leave. In addition, it could prove as a better option than logging in with a service like Facebook, especially in light of recent data scandals.
Furthermore, Snapkit login feature would allow users to port their Bitmoji avatar to other platforms. Snapchat paid $64.2 million for Bitmoji parent company Bitstrips in 2016, so it would make sense to try and attract as many users to the Bitmoji platform as possible.
Perhaps most notably, however, Snapchat is said to be working on a way for developers to integrate its AR camera into other applications:
Snapchat is also working on a way for developers to integrate its editing tool-laden and AR-equipped camera into their own apps. Instead of having to reinvent the wheel if they want to permit visual sharing and inevitably building a poor knockoff, apps could just add Snapchat’s polished camera.
The idea of the new feature Snapkits, is to allow photos and videos shot with the camera could then be used in the third party app as well as shared back to Snapchat. Similar to Facebook and Instagram Stories opening up to posts from third-parties, this could inject fresh forms of content into Snapchat at a time when usage is slipping.
However, it’s no longer news that Snapchat has faced relentless competition from Facebook-owned Instagram, but with new found scepticism of Facebook’s handling of user data, Snap has the ability to catch up and regain some of the ground it has lost.