- Snap introduced a developer platform called Snap Kit that lets software designers create mobile apps with a smoother connection through image-messaging app Snapchat. Snap Kit lets app developers add features like Bitmoji avatars to keyboards, display public Our Stories and Snap Map content and create branded stickers to share among Snapchat users, according to a company statement.
- Pandora, Patreon, Postmates and Tinder are among the launch partners for Snap Kit, with each company integrating their apps with Snapchat in various ways. For example, streaming music service Pandora in the coming weeks will let Snapchatters share songs they're listening to one-on-one, to a group of friends or to their Snap Story with unique song cards, Pandora announced.
- Snap is touting its strong privacy protections that limit the sharing of user information among its own platform and third-party apps. Snap Kit apps can't ask users for their email, phone number, gender, age, location or friend information, TechCrunch reports.
Snap's introduction of Snap Kit is the clearest sign yet that the company seeks to embrace the community of mobile app developers after banning third-party apps in 2014 because of highly publicized privacy scandals. A key feature of Snap Kit will let third-party developers create a login page that uses a Snapchat user profile, similar to login services that Facebook and Google have offered for years. On differences it hat Snapchat promises to limit the user information that gets shared with those third-party developers, a practice that got Facebook in trouble this year with the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Snap Kit's biggest draw for third-party app developers will likely be its predominantly younger audience that's less likely to use more established social networking apps such as Facebook or Twitter. Partnering with companies like Pandora, Patreon, Postmates and Tinder could help slow the tide of plummeting ad prices since Snapchat adopted a fully automated programmatic ad platform.
Features like Login Kit that lets users skip the process of creating a proprietary username and password for websites and apps make Snapchat stickier for its users. The Creative Kit will give brands a way to more easily create stickers and filters that people can use with the app's camera, helping to generate more publicity and referral traffic to apps and websites. Bitmoji Kit lets app developers integrate the personalized avatars into user profiles, as online dating service Tinder is doing. Finally, the Story Kit will let app designers embed Snapchat Stories, a popular feature that links together several images into a single post, into other apps and websites. By embracing the developer community with these features, Snap is taking steps to cement its connections with users by opening up the possibility of a new universe of functions and features.