A peek inside the code of the Snapchat app has revealed that the company is expanding the search capabilities of its augmented reality camera to include visual search that may link to items within Amazon's massive online store.
Self-described "technology leaker" on Twitter, a teenager by the name of Ishan Agarwal tipped off TechCrunch regarding the discovery. Codenamed "Eagle," the visual search feature would enable users to identify objects, songs, barcodes, and more. The app would then send data to "Amazon, Shazam, and other partners."
Agarwal also discovered Amazon logo image files and other data files with Eagle in the file names.
Integration of Shazam into Snapchat for song recognition has been in place since Dec. 2016, so we already have an idea of how the feature would work. While Amazon already has its own visual search feature built into its iOS and Android apps, the company could benefit from another massive referral stream.
The partnership would also align with Snapchat's ongoing evolution of its commerce capabilities, including its Shoppable AR e-commerce tools and expanded availability of augmented reality experiences for advertisers. Snapchat is currently enjoying an uptick in its stock price in the wake of the company's advertiser-oriented news.
The possible expanded search capabilities would give Snapchat yet another feature advantage over Facebook and Instagram's continued encroachment on Snapchat's AR camera platform. However, with Apple, Google, and Samsung making visual search an integrated component of their smartphones and tablets, and making computer vision capabilities available to developers, Snapchat might be a little too late to the game.