It looks like Snapchat wants to get into search and discovery in a big way.
Vurb’s five-year-old cross-platform app aims to help its users “easily find, save, and do the best things by connecting community recommendations, rich content, and useful services – personalized for you in one simple app.”
So, say you do a search for a movie, the results will offer not only reviews from a site like Rotten Tomatoes, but also a link to Fandango for ticket purchase, and even Uber so you can request a ride to the movie theater. This all takes place within the app, saving you from having to hop between providers to get things done. In addition, users can save their searches for future reference and also share them with friends in the form of media “cards.” Ideas and recommendations for stuff to do are also offered by the service’s growing community of so-called “Vurbies,” the company says on its site.
Vurb founder Bobby Lo told TechCrunch last year the service’s goal was to “create a more cohesive mobile experience around finding, planning, and sharing information,” describing the app as “very different than traditional search with 10 blue links.”
With both companies yet to offer any official word on the reported deal, it’s impossible to say precisely to what extent Snapchat will incorporate Vurb’s technology into its own service. It might, for example, offer the ability to add Vurb-generated content to Snaps, add new ways to recommend Stories, or make it easier for users to find new people to follow. Hopefully all will be revealed soon.
If and when the deal is confirmed, the move on Vurb would mark Snapchat’s second major acquisition this year. In March, the company dropped $100 million on Bitstrips, the startup behind emoji app Bitmoji.