You could soon shop on Snapchat with a new visual search tool called Eagle

snapchat story
dennizn/123RF

Shopping and Snapchat could soon be synonymous. As originally reported by TechCrunch, the popular social media platform is experimenting with a new visual search feature called “Eagle.” App researcher Ishan Agarwal was the first to notice the Snapchat code in the Android version of the app, and has previously been the tipster behind a number of other app features, including Instagram’s video calling app, Focus portrait mode, and others.

In essence, in the case of this latest hidden feature, if you take a photo of a product or its barcode, you’ll be redirected to Amazon, where you’ll have the option of purchasing said product. Agarwal discovered the new feature when poking around the app’s Android code, which details a “Visual Search” feature. The description notes, “Press and hold to identify an object, song, barcode, and more! This works by sending data to Amazon, Shazam, and other partners.”

While Snapchat may have started off as nothing more than a way for friends to share ephemeral moments with one another, it soon turned into an attempt at a revenue-generating machine, one that has fallen off in recent months, especially with increasing competition from rival Instagram. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app has copied many of Snapchat’s more popular features, like Stories, and has managed to attract a larger user base. This, in turn, has made it more difficult for Snapchat to make money, which has certainly concerned its investors.

But with its new Eagle function, the app could be turning things around. If Snapchat is able to work out an affiliate deal with Amazon — which is to say, get a cut of all Amazon sales generated by a photo sent through the app — that could represent a significant new revenue stream.

Snapchat has indicated several times throughout the year that it is harboring a growing interest in visual search. Earlier this year, the company reportedly engaged in talks to acquire machine vision startup Blippar. While these negotiations ultimately fell through, it comes as little surprise that Snapchat is now trying to chart its own course in the field. We’ll just have to see what comes of its latest efforts.

Mobile

EU antitrust czar will brief Google CEO ahead of massive fine

Sources close to the European Commission claim Google will likely face a multibillion-dollar fine for anticompetitive practices relating to Android's dominance in the smartphone market.
Mobile

Visual snapshots on Google Assistant provides your day at a glance

Google's artificially intelligent bot, Google Assistant, is available on smart home speakers, smart home devices, iOS and Android phones, and it can do a whole lot of work on your behalf. Here are all of its features.
Mobile

Apple's third iOS 12 beta may help you save a lot of data

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.
Photography

Here are the best Amazon Prime Day photography deals (updated)

Amazon's biggest shopping day of the year is here, and if photography is your hobby, there are a few deals for you. From action cameras to accessories and photo-editing software, here are some of our favorite Prime Deals in 2018.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Computing

The best Windows apps

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks!
Mobile

Google’s $5.1 billion anti-trust fine could mean the end of free Android

The European Commission has fined Google a record breaking $5.1 billion. The EU is accusing the company of severe antitrust infractions related to the search engine giant's handling of the Android ecosystem.
Business

Tinder begins testing Bitmoji feature in Mexico and Canada using Snap Kit

Using Snapchat's latest developer platform known as Snap Kit, Tinder has begun testing the Bitmoji feature in Mexico and Canada. By connecting their Snapchat and Tinder accounts, users are able to send Bitmojis through the dating app.
Web

Not sure if Amazon Prime is right for you? Here is everything you need to know

So what is Amazon Prime? Is the premium membership really worth the cost of admission? Here, we break down the service's multitude of features, so you can make an informed decision.
Movies & TV

Binge away with our guide to the best on-demand streaming services

Looking to waste a weekend bingeing or just putting together a movie night? Find out everything you need, from prices to features, in our guide to the best online streaming sites and services for on-demand movies and TV shows.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Home Theater

Here’s how to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow casting of anything on your mobile device to your TV. If you're wondering how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to a bigger screen, we've got an in-depth guide.
Computing

Relive 1998 as live chat rooms roll out across Reddit in a limited beta

Reddit is slowly rolling out real-time chat rooms across a limited number of subreddits. Currently in beta, Reddit Chat went live in 2017 for a small group of around 7,000 users. Reddit is now expanding this service.
Mobile

The world can be your oyster with a little help from the best travel apps around

Traveling doesn't need to be a time-consuming nuisance. Our handpicked selection of the best travel apps will keep things simple, whether you need cost comparisons for hotels or directions to renowned eateries.
Mobile

Apple fixes its battery drain issue with iOS 11.4.1 update

Apple's iOS 11 is the latest version of the company's mobile operating system, but it still has some issues to be worked out. We've searched the internet to find the biggest iOS 11 problems, along with some potential solutions.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Photography

3 simple things you can do to step up your selfie game

Taking a selfie might seem simple enough, but there's more to it than meets the eye. Here are three elements to keep in mind the next time you take a selfie to share on social media.
Photography

What is portrait mode? How tech helps smartphones capture a better you

Several years ago, portrait modes started showing up on phones and quickly became one of the most popular ways to capture selfies, profile pics, and more. But how does portrait mode work, and how much difference does it make?
Mobile

Ready to party? Pinterest expands group boards with new activity feed, threads

Pinning with a group? Pinterest group boards are now more conversation-friendly. A new activity board collects all the changes in one place, while new threads encourage group conversations among the Pins and comments.
Social Media

Augmented reality is coming to Facebook — in the form of advertisements

Augmented reality is coming to Facebook, but perhaps not in the way that you would have wanted. Facebook announced on Tuesday, July 10 that it has begun testing AR advertisements within its Newsfeed.
Photography

Instagram’s question stickers bring comment-like interaction to Stories

Instagram Stories lack some of the interaction options from the traditional feed but that is not stopping Instagram from coming up with new ways to interact. The sticker allows you to ask a question and get open-ended responses.