Snapchat is working on turning its camera into a visual search engine that will link users to Amazon listings. The unreleased feature was spotted in the code of Snapchat’s Android app by an app researcher who tipped off TechCrunch. It would identify objects, songs, and barcodes from users’ cameras by sending the data to Amazon, Shazam, and other companies.
To use the feature, you’d snap a photo of an object, and then the app would pull up sellers of a product and reviews. You would then be able to copy the Amazon link, share, and send the info to friends. If the app can’t identify the product, it would respond by saying, “Bummer, we didn’t catch that!”
The feature sounds similar to the way Google Lens works, except Snapchat would be using third-party integrations to do the identifying. We’ve reached out to Snapchat for comment. While Snapchat has not confirmed the new feature, it has worked with Shazam before in 2016 with an in-app integration. It might another be a way for Snapchat to monetize its camera, after a poor Q1 where it reported a $385 million net loss.