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Snapchat’s new context cards let you read reviews, book reservations, and more

Snapchat’s new context cards let you read reviews, book reservations, and more


Google Maps for cool teens

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Snapchat today is introducing context cards, which add contextual information to geotagged photos and images shared in public stories. Snaps added to the regional Our Story feature, or those sent with the white-text, venue-specific geofilter, will include the cards automatically. Users can swipe up on any snap that displays the word “more” and they’ll see an interactive card pop up with contextual information about the place in question. Partners supplying information for the cards include Foursquare, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, and Lyft, and will grow over time, Snaps says.

If you’ve used Google Maps, you’ve seen cards like these. They offer basic details about a venue including the address, phone number, website, and hours. Scroll down and you’ll see crowdsourced reviews from Snap’s partners. You can reserve a table using OpenTable, Resy, or Bookatable, or order rides to venues using Lyft and Uber. Some context cards will also have public stories integrated into the card, along with images contributed by the venue.

The move comes about four months after the introduction of Snap Maps, which allows you to see your friends’ locations in real time, alongside a heat map of public snaps. Maps are viewed internally as a promising new area of investment for Snap; contributions to public stories are up 40 percent since they were introduced, Axios reported last week. Context cards will help Snap build out an infrastructure for its future efforts in local products, while also likely creating new revenue opportunities down the line.

Let’s get to some of your frequently asked questions about context cards.

Are context cards good or bad?

They seem relatively good. They do not appear to be actively bad.

What’s so good about them?

They teach teenagers about important concepts, such as the importance of making reservations, or checking to see whether a business is open before making their mom drive them all the way there in this traffic.

What is the worst context card I can expect to see?

Definitely the Goop cards. Goop is one of the nine launch partners, and now there will be unsolicited Goop in your snaps.

What does Elise Loehnen, chief content officer of Goop, have to say about context cards, in the promotional materials that were distributed for context cards?

“Travel is one of our most popular verticals, and a natural extension of Gwyneth’s impetus for starting Goop: to create a place where readers can find recommendations from a trusted friend, not from an anonymous, crowdsourced engine.”

Won’t context cards primarily show recommendations from anonymous, crowdsourced engines?

That is our understanding, yes.

How can I protect my teenager from Goop recommendations?

Slather them in Goop’s most hated enemies: processed cheese and Mountain Dew.

Great. Where are context cards available?

You’ll see them on both iOS and Android, assuming you live in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand.

Hit me with that promotional video!