Lots of cool updates in the world of social lately! This week we discuss Snapchat’s rebranding and the launch of Spectacles, Facebook’s trial of the new app “Messenger Day,” and rumors that Disney may be looking to buy Twitter.
This week started with some huge news from millennial favorite, Snapchat. Snapchat, which first gained popularity as a way to temporarily share photos but has morphed into a social media conglomerate complete with ads and sponsored content, is stepping away from the Snapchat brand and instead becoming Snap Inc., or Snap. The corporate rebranding to Snap hopes to establish Snapchat as just one of Snap’s offerings, meaning that we may be seeing even more applications from Snap. In fact, the same day as the Snap announcement, Snap shared news of its new product Spectacles. The first piece of hardware from Snap, Spectacles are connected glasses with a wireless camera that connects to smartphones. Unlike Google Glass, Spectacles appear to be designed for Snap’s largest audience, Millennials. Spectacles are inexpensive ($130) and are modeled after the stylish sunglasses popular with today’s millennials. Expect to see a limited number of Spectacles on the market this fall.
On 9/30, Facebook launched a new function, “Messenger Day.” The app is similar to the current Facebook app “Messenger, but rather than messages lasting forever, content shared on Messenger Day disappears after 24hours (get it? Messenger DAY). Only available in Poland for now, Messenger Day hopes to tag on to the international popularity of Facebook’s current Messenger app, with Facebook telling TechCrunch that “We know that people come to Messenger to share everyday moments with friends and family. In Poland, we are running a small test of new ways for people to share those updates visually. We have nothing more to announce at this time.” While Facebook frequently tests out new products, something tells me that some version of Messenger Day will roll out internationally at some point soon. Seeing the success of Snapchat’s expiring content strategy and Instagram’s similar story function, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Facebook launch some sort of temporary sharing element. Remember, Facebook recently tried its hand with disappearing text messages. Messenger Day comes complete with a drawing tool and stickers—sound familiar?
This week Bloomberg broke the news that Disney may be looking to buy Twitter. Disney already owns a wide variety of companies including ABC, the Muppets, Hollywood Records, ESPN, the History Channel, and parts of Hulu, 20th Century Fox, and Comcast; so adding Twitter doesn’t sound too farfetched, especially considering Twitter’s recent efforts to Livestream NFL games. Recent happenings at Twitter show that it may be morphing from a social media platform to a media company with a social element, making it even more appealing to Disney. Disney isn’t the only company interested, though, as Salesforce.com is also considering making a purchase, as the Twitter brand has recently seen stagnant growth and high executive turnover.