Visual Search was reported earlier this year as Snapchat’s new method of differentiating itself from competitors.
A potential affiliate deal with Amazon could see the company generate significant revenues if consumers decide to purchase the products that the tool is suggesting.
It isn’t yet clear how effective the Snapchat camera will be at identifying physical products, but it could offer Snap an opportunity to integrate other forms of image-based searches into its app.
“Beginning this week, we’re testing a new way to search for products on Amazon right from the Snapchat camera,” the company announced. “We’ll be rolling it out slowly, but we wanted to announce it to everyone at the same time,” it added.
Users just point the camera at an item or bar-code which will prompt the app to present them with an Amazon card with a link for that product or similar ones.
It was unclear if the tool was something Snap built in-house or has borrowed from Amazon, but the potential revenue-gain will be important for the company as its user base shrinks and cash losses grow.
However, the announcement could potentially cause consternation among retailers who are already facing challenges on the high street. With shoppers able to browse products in-store before searching for them cheaper online, Snapchat’s move into the retail space could spell trouble for some.