As of Thursday, developers will be able to put Snapchat into their apps. Snap (the maker of Snapchat) has introduced Snap Kit, which is a full-fledged developer kit that allows app makes to bring core features of Snapchat to their apps. Is your head exploding, or is it just mine? If successful, this could be really big news for Snap. Simply put, Snap would be able to introduce features like Bitmoji and augmented reality lenses to a wider audience. This might not be an easy task, as they are going to have to convince developers that they will benefit from integrating into their apps – while at the same time protecting user privacy. Given what is happening with Facebook, I think that Snap needs to tread carefully.
So how does this work exactly? An example would be – you’ll be able to use Bitmoji in Tinder, or you’ll have Postmates stickers that will tell you when your order will arrive. Other apps that will use these features include Poshmark, Quip, Eventbrite, Giphy, Pandora, Bands in Town, Patreon and SoundHound. There are a few different ways that developers can use the Snapchat features (through the Snap Kit platform). One way is to use Creative Kit, which is going to let developers add stickers, filters, links and other information – like your workout stats, or even the songs you’re listening to on Pandora. These features would get added to the Snapchat camera. While this whole thing is neat, I’m just curious to know whether or not it crosses any data or privacy lines?
In addition, developers can also search public stories in order to find things like location and time, and then embed them into their own apps using Story Kit. Snapchat is also going to let people log into their services using their Snapchat account. Cross-platform logins are something that we’ve seen for a long time now from companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, but now Snapchat is promising they will allow this and ensure that third parties won’t see your personal information. The only thing they’ll get to see is your display name and your Bitmoji avatar. Of course, this promise is likely to prevent a Cambridge Analytica/Facebook type scandal. Snapchat is saying that if you don’t log in for 90 days, they will automatically disconnect you. They will also review every app that uses Snap Kit.
But what advantage does this have for developers? Honestly, it doesn’t sound like there is any. Tinder is one of the first apps who has adopted this feature. They are allowing you to send Bitmoji’s back and forth between your matches. This might sound like a good idea for Snapchat users, but I’m still not sure that it actually is. Most developers user demographic information about their user base in order to build a better business, but how can they do that if the login is through another app – like Snapchat? On the other hand, there are some developers that want the convenience that comes from being about to outsource logins without having to do the work on their own. I don’t think this is a good idea, but I will hold off on any further comments until I see it in action.