Snapchat’s adding a new way to help users discover live events, with a new Snap Map feature, created in partnership with Ticketmaster, which will display all listed events near them.
As you can see in these examples, the new Ticketmaster Snap Map layer, activated via the toggle at the top right of the map screen, will show all the events that Ticketmaster has listed nearby. Users will then be able to swipe through, and if you find something that you’re interested in, you’ll be able to share it with your connections in the app, or even buy tickets in-stream.
As explained by Snap:
“Using the new Snap Map Layer, Snapchatters can browse Ticketmaster’s complete catalog of upcoming events based on what is happening nearby. There, they can see everything from comedy to sports, concerts from today’s big stars or indie shows from latest up and comers. Once they find a show that piques their interest, they can tap in and invite their friends though stickers that plug right into the Snapchat Camera, or even buy tickets then and there through a seamless checkout process.”
The feature works in partnership with the Ticketmaster Snap Mini, which enables users to highlight events of interest to them, and get alerts for similar in future.
It’s a good update, which makes particular sense for Snapchat, with the app’s younger audience more likely to be looking for upcoming events and gatherings, which they can then share with friends and organize nights out, all in the app.
Which is in line with Snap’s focus use case of keeping friends connected. While other social apps have increasingly moved towards expanding your audience and maximizing exposure, Snap is geared around more intimate connections, and that use case has helped establish its place in the broader social media ecosystem, by running counter to other apps.
It’s also an interesting use of Snap’s Map Layers, which it first launched in November, and could facilitate a range of sponsored use cases like this, helping Snap users to connect with local events, businesses, opportunities and more.
It’ll be interesting, also, to see what other features Snap can build into its Map layers, and how that could benefit Snap’s audience in new ways. Maybe that could become a big commercial and advertising opportunity, which could open up new avenues for brand connection, while it could also providing Snap with more data for its AR heads-up display in a future version of its Spectacles glasses.
Imagine looking at a movie theater, then scrolling through movies and session times, overlaid on your view.
That’s the next level, and the more Snap can build geo-based markers and indicators like this, the more that will benefit its next stage of development.
The new Ticketmaster Snap Map Layer is now available ‘in more than 20 countries around the globe’.
Meta Announces WhatsApp Cloud API to Provide Hosting Support for SMBs
After previewing the option back in 2020, today, at its first-ever ‘Conversations’ messaging conference, Meta has announced that it’s launching the WhatsApp Cloud API, which will provide free, secure cloud hosting services for businesses.
As it sounds, the WhatsApp Cloud API will essentially host your conversation data on Meta’s servers, which will improve connection and speed, but will come with a degree of privacy trade-off.
The main benefits will be improved speed in messaging response, while it’ll also help to eliminate server expenses, which could be a big benefit to smaller businesses, in particular. It’ll also facilitate faster access to new WhatsApp business features as they become available.
The downside is that it will mean more reliance on Meta, while you’ll also need to dilute WhatsApp’s messaging security measures:
As Meta described in its original announcement:
“If a business chooses to use a third-party vendor to operate the WhatsApp Business API on their behalf, we do not consider that to be end-to-end encrypted since the business you are messaging has chosen to give a third-party vendor access to those messages. This will also be the case if that third-party vendor is Facebook.”
As such, WhatsApp will include new notifications on consumer-to-business exchanges conducted through Meta hosting.
How you feel about such trade-offs will come down to your personal perspective, but the offering could be highly valuable for smaller businesses looking to build out their tech stack, without having to sign on to a third-party hosting vendor, or buy their own hardware.
But again, that does also mean increasing your reliance on Meta, which has notoriously changed the rules on businesses in the past, leaving many in the lurch.
The real benefit, however, will likely be in developing regions, where WhatsApp is the dominant messaging platform, and many small businesses are looking for ways to maximize their reach and transactions in-app. If Meta can assist them in building their business, that could be a big step in making WhatsApp a more critical utility, for many more users, while also, eventually, providing a direct revenue pathway for the messaging platform.
Though it does feel like a bit of a honey trap. Meta has already flagged that it will eventually introduce charges for these additional elements, without specifically outlining what those costs will be. Once businesses are reliant on such, it’ll be too late to back out, and Meta could ensnare them via incremental increases, that may eventually become a big earner for the company.
On another front, Meta also announced Recurring Notifications on Messenger, which will enable businesses to re-engage people within a messaging thread. The feature is only available to premium users at present, which doesn’t cost more to be part of right now, but will in future as Meta looks to incorporate new charges for its messaging and hosting tools.
You can check out replays of the Conversations conference presentations here.
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