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Snapchat Launches Speech Recognition Lenses

Written by Daniel
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Snapchat recently launched its new speech recognition lenses which use basic phrases to activate on-screen animations. We discuss what this could mean for the platform in Episode 15 of the Industry Spotlight series…

See below for the full video transcription.



Lee: The next thing we’re going to discuss is Snapchat launching some speech recognition lenses. 

Jamie: Snapchat need to pack it in with this hardware now. 

Chris: It’s all they’ve got. 

Lee: I don’t really… they’re doing things that is just too out there. They’re just trying to find a solid way of monetizing, aren’t they, and they can’t do it. I think the closest thing I’ve seen in the news is the Amazon shopping integration. But this I just don’t see it. I don’t really understand it. 

Chris: Well I imagine it just creates spikes in interest in people and usage. So when they launch something like this, although it’s such a minor thing, isn’t it really? In terms of what the platform already does. But it builds a little bit of interest, and no doubt there’s been a fairly decent spike in usage since they published this.

Lee: I’m hardly an avid Snapchat user, but I don’t see how, A. having a pair of lenses is a good thing, but B. having them pick up really basic English words like “hi,” and automatically apply a filter is going to help Snapchat in any way. 

Chris: So what are the commands and what are the effects that you get, then, from the commands? 

Lee: So you can say basic words like, “hi,” “love,” “yes,” “no,” and it will put a love filter around you with music in the background. 

Chris: All right. 

Lee: Automatically. 

Chris: Yeah, that is pretty cheesy, isn’t it? 

Lee: Yeah. 

Chris: So what does it do if you say… what if it says, “hi?” What if you say, “hi?” 

Lee: Flock of chatting birds. 

Chris: Hi.

Jamie: This isn’t even news, this is rubbish.

Chris: It’s tenuous, yeah. 

Lee: No, it’s just another thing though, isn’t it, that they’re trying to do to create some sort of way of monetizing it when what should have happened is they should have accepted the $5 billion offer that Facebook offered them when they first came out. 

Chris: And they just keep launching something that’s too similar, don’t they? There’s nothing really diverse about what they’re launching. Obviously it’s pretty cool technology and it will get more people using it for a very… I don’t know, would you say temporary? I don’t think it will retain people by launching things like this. I think it will create a bit of a spike, but how long can you really do that for before people get bored of the same type of stuff that they’re putting out? I don’t know, I don’t think it would be enough to compel me to stay on the platform for more than a day or so, especially if there’s limited commands, as well. 

Lee: Yeah, that’s basically what they’re saying, that it keeps users engaged, and it’s helping position them for advertisers further down the road. So I think that they’re thinking ahead from an AR perspective, when that’s more widely available. They’re going to be there at the forefront. 

Chris: Is it just showing off their capabilities?

Lee: I believe so, yeah. 

Chris: Because obviously Facebook aren’t really doing anything…well similar, but they’re not doing voice commands or anything like that. I’m pretty sure they could, but I just don’t get how they’re monetizing it or being able to monetize it in the same way as like Facebook do. They do it very cleverly, don’t they? And there’s always something that comes after a launch, a product launch, for Facebook, whereas that’s just user based. 

Lee: Well it’s not a ad format, is it? And you’ve got to have a pair of the lenses. 

Chris: Yeah. 

Lee: Which ain’t cheap. 

Chris: Yeah, I feel like they’re stuck in a bit of a rut, to be honest, but… 

Lee: It’s a cry for help, isn’t it? 

Chris: Yeah. 

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