Snapchat Introduces its New Location-Based Discovery Tool

Snapchat debuted “context cards” this week, a new feature that helps its users easily make a restaurant reservation or book an Uber ride without having to exit the app. The new feature is designed to keep users engaged with the app and its contextual location-based search. By swiping up from geotagged images while viewing certain stories, users will get related data such as contact info, directions and reviews. Early partners include Bookatable, Foursquare, Michelin, OpenTable and TripAdvisor. Ultimately, more time on Snapchat could mean more advertising revenue for the popular messaging app.

The company introduced Snap Maps earlier this year, which allows users to see friends’ locations and public snaps on a map graphic. Contributions to public stories jumped 40 percent since Snap Maps debuted. Combining these two features could provide new opportunities for Snap.

“Snapchat, popular with young people for applying bunny faces or other filters to their pictures, competes for ad dollars with the likes of Facebook’s Instagram,” reports Reuters.

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“Similarly to Yelp, which allows users to search nearby businesses, Snap may be able to charge businesses to feature on cards, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.” Context cards are available for both iOS and Android in the U.S.

According to The Verge, “If you’ve used Google Maps, you’ve seen cards like these. They offer basic details about a venue including the address, phone number, website, and hours. Scroll down and you’ll see crowdsourced reviews from Snap’s partners. You can reserve a table using OpenTable, Resy, or Bookatable, or order rides to venues using Lyft and Uber. Some context cards will also have public stories integrated into the card, along with images contributed by the venue.”