On Tuesday, Oct. 10, the social media company introduced Context Cards, a new feature that lets users find out more information about a friend's Snap, via a link reading "more." Users swipe up on the app to view things such as reviews, contact information and directions. The feature also lets users make reservations.
Snap said in a blog post that it has partnered with ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft to let users book a ride via the app, as well as reservation apps such as OpenTable, Resy and Bookatable. Other partnerships include TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) - Get Report , Foursquare, Michelin and Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand, Goop. The company didn't disclose any financial terms of the partnerships.
Context Cards won't show up on every Snap, just ones that are tagged with geofilters, or posts that are submitted to the crowdsourced Stories feed Our Story, as well as those that show up in Snap Map or Search.
"With Context Cards, Snaps have become the visual starting point for learning more about the world, empowering our community to get more information about anything that catches their eye," the company wrote.
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel detailed the new Context Cards in an interview with Wired on Tuesday, saying the product is a part of the company's overall strategy of visual-first communication. Instead of searching for something with text, Spiegel thinks mobile users would rather discover things by seeing an image, with the option of viewing additional context and information. Facebook Inc.'s (FB) - Get Report Instagram has been trying to do something similar by including features that let users include links in their Instagram Stories, which take users to outside websites or third-party map apps.
Context Cards represent one of the biggest changes in Snap's interface since the company introduced Snap Maps, its interactive map product, a few months ago. It's likely to become a modest revenue source for the company as the feature grows, especially since Snap already said it will be adding more partners soon. At the very least, it should drive increased engagement within the app, as users won't have to turn to competitors' apps, such as Google Maps, to discover information about restaurants, shops and other services.
The announcement, though, wasn't enough to buoy Snap's stock. Shares were down 1.7% to $14.47 on Tuesday afternoon and are down about 41% so far this year following the company's initial public offering in March.
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