How Snap Is Eyeing Facebook’s Turf With New APIs

by Trefis Team
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Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP) is offering a public application programming interface (API) called Snap Kit, in a move that would open the app up for developers who can now leverage the company’s platform to log in to apps, post information from other apps to Snapchat and export bitmoji. With the move, Snap is looking to increase the influence of its social network across the internet, much like rival Facebook, which has used such tools to become a fixture across multiple websites and apps. To begin with, Snap has launched 4 APIs that include a login API – which allows users to use their Snapchat username to create accounts on other apps and websites – and a Snap camera API, which lets people share things from other apps to their Snapchat Story. Snap also launched an API that allows users to use its bitmoji in other apps. Another API will allow developers to use public Snaps to create Stories on third-party apps or websites. Below, we take a look at how the move could impact Snap.

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How The APIs Help Snap 

The new API could help Snap in multiple ways. The Snapchat login tool could help the company improve its customer stickiness, making their Snap username a keychain of sorts for multiple apps and websites, reducing their incentive to leave the platform. This API effectively makes Snap part of the internet infrastructure, much like Facebook and Google, who offer similar services to save consumers the hassle of remembering usernames and passwords and going through the laborious account creation process. The other APIs could also help to make Snap more useful to users, while potentially allowing the company to grow its brand recall with people who don’t currently use its app. For instance, if users start to see Snapchat stories on other media websites (much like Twitter’s tweets), it could help improve the visibility of the app, driving more user adds.

Snap is looking to avoid the privacy-related pitfalls experienced by Facebook, which faced a huge backlash after it shared too much user data to a third party service via its API. For instance, the company is looking to only give developers access to a person’s Snapchat username, holding back other demographic information and friends list data. Snap has also indicated that it intends to manually review all its API partners.

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