Hot stuff: Why everyone’s excited about Snapchat’s dancing frankfurter
Has everyone seen Snapchat’s dancing hotdog?
The little animated AR character is the first to be built using Snapchat’s 3D World Lens technology. The jumping frankfurter appears inside Snapchat’s camera as a fully formed graphic that can be fully manipulated in the frame and that people can walk around, as if it was really there.
Where Snapchat leads, as always, other social networks will follow, with Facebook already well down the road of finalising its AR Studio, where advertisers and brands can come to develop content for use on the platform.
The potential for brands is clear as this type of AR technology emerges into the affordable mainstream – can you imagine your logo, product or mascot being used in this way?
Amazon to move into social messaging?
Amazon has been surveying customers about what they’d like to see on a social messaging app – sparking speculation that it is preparing to launch one.
The retail giant already has a video conferencing service, called Chime, so a further move into messaging and social would be a small step.
Early reports suggest the Amazon platform would be focused around messaging, text, audio and video, with photo sharing and online ordering rolled in.
As with so many tech and social moves from the big players, watch this space.
Online to offline for retail giant
Amazon is also introducing a service that will let customers use their accounts to pay for goods in the real world.
Pay Places will allow holders of Amazon accounts to pay for products in person or in advance via the Amazon app on their phones – the first brand to accept the payments is TGI Fridays.
With Amazon now the owner of grocery chain Wholefoods, it’s clear to see how this functionality will benefit it in a ‘order and pay online pick up in store’ concept, too.
Google bursts the social bubble
The social media bubble – where people only receive news that has been liked or shared by friends or publishers they follow – could be ending as Google launches a new type of mobile feed.
Users of the Google app on iPhone and Android will now get a feed made up of stories Google has selected as the most important of the day, together with ones about topics the user has previously searched.
Controversial stories will be shown as a sliding carousel of different sources to widen the user’s understanding of the subject. And the algorithm is ever-changing, in line with what you search for, to ensure it remains topical and relevant.
Cash machine gets smart upgrade
For those of us old enough to remember traveller’s cheques, the digital version appears to have arrived.
CashDash is an app that lets you add funds, then withdraw them from participating ATMs using your smartphone.
Launched initially in London, where there are 53 CashDash compatible ATMs, users type in their phone number, then input the code that is sent to their phone in order to withdraw money.
Cash can be deposited in a variety of currencies, with the company promising better exchange rates than the high street.