Snap Inc. on Thursday rolled out Snap Kit, a platform that developers can use to integrate Snapchat features such as stickers and Bitmoji into their apps.
By launching a developer platform, the social network aims to introduce features such as its augmented reality lenses to a broader audience than its 191 million daily active users.
Snap Kit consists of four separate software kits that developers can use, three of which live on apps other than Snapchat. They are:
- Creative Kit lets apps integrate their stickers, filters and links into the Snapchat camera. Delivery network Postmates, for example, created a dynamic sticker that shows consumers the expected arrival time of their General Tso’s tofu order within Snapchat.
- Story Kit lets developers filter and embed publicly shared Snapchat Stories into their apps and services. That enables Poshmark, for instance, to include the Stories its sellers created on Snapchat in its app.
- Bitmoji Kit lets consumers use their Snapchat Bitmoji avatar on other apps.
- Login Kit enables consumers to use their Snapchat login to sign into another site or app.
The tools are initially invitation-only and online consignment marketplace Poshmark is among the first to leverage them within its app as it plans to roll them out by the fourth quarter, if not sooner.
Poshmark is leveraging the Creative Kit, Story Kit and and the Login Kit as it aims to create a link between its online marketplace and Snapchat, says Manish Chandra, Poshmark’s founder and CEO. The Story Kit enables Poshmark to add Snapchat Stories into its app, while the Creative Kit aims to add a prominent button on Snapchat that links back to Poshmark.
“The integration makes it very easy for someone on Snapchat to come into Poshmark or someone on Poshmark to see a seller’s Story and go to Snapchat,” he says. “We expect users will go back and forth between Snapchat and Poshmark in a seamless way that’s unique among the social networks. Usually a link takes a user to a retail site or app and doesn’t offer them a quick way to go back. In that sense, Snapchat is pushing the boundaries of social, e-commerce integrations.”
The move to give outside developers access to Snap’s information comes on the heels of the intense scrutiny that Facebook Inc. has faced since March, when the New York Times, The Observer of London and The Guardian detailed how data firm Cambridge Analytica improperly used Facebook data to create voter profiles.
Snap aims to mitigate its risks by pledging that “Snap Kit was designed to share minimal data—safely, and only with your permission.” Developers can only access a consumer’s display name and Bitmoji when he is logged in. And consumers don’t share their friends’ data when they log in with Snap Kit. Moreover, apps are automatically disconnected from Snap’s data pipeline after 90 days of inactivity.