Snap Announces Minis for Snapchat
Snap announced Minis that enable a range of experiences from meditating alone to buying movie tickets with friends. Minis are a suite of miniature applications, built using HTML, made by third-party developers that run inside of Snapchat. Minis, which are integrated into the chat window on Snapchat, are one of several new features announced today at Snap’s virtual Partner Summit.
The existence of Minis was first reported last month by The Information, which likened them to the mini programs that have turned WeChat into one of the most popular apps in China. The programs generated $113 billion for WeChat last year, up 160 percent from the year prior, The Information reported. The company takes a cut of purchases made through the app.
In an interview with The Verge, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said Minis would help the company extend its reach to include e-commerce, with more social shopping experiences that let friends browse together. “Let’s say you’re getting ready with your friends, or your school dance is two weeks from now — you can actually shop together with your friends, which I think could be a really fun experience,” Spiegel said.
Snap announced seven Minis to start. They include an app to coordinate your schedule at the next Coachella music festival; a mini version of Headspace to meditate and send encouraging messages to friends; Movie Tickets by Atom for choosing showtimes, picking seats, and buying tickets; and Tembo, which lets students create flash card decks for studying.
Minis had perhaps the most potential to change Snapchat of the new features announced by the company on Thursday. But several another announcements promised to change the app’s look, functionality, and content. They include:
- Snapchat is getting a navigation bar for the first time
- Snap Maps will begin to display basic information about local businesses, including location, address, hours of operation, and reviews from TripAdvisor and Foursquare
- Snapchat camera can now scan plants and dogs
- You can now submit public snaps to topics
- 10 new games for Snapchat’s budding games platform