The social media wave has truly revolutionized not just the way in which we use the internet today, but also modern online culture. From sharing jokes to fun family photos and videos, it seems like there’s something for everyone. So with everyone already spending so much time obsessing over other peoples’ successes and the amount of likes they receive on a post, coupled with the scary amount of personal information that these companies hold about us, why not integrate shopping straight into these apps. Companies such as Facebook Marketplace and the newly integrated shopping tab on the bottom HUD of Instagram use users interests, which it gathers based on how they navigate the platform, to offer products catered for them. Selling this information to advertisers who use them to target their products to the best fitting customers is one of the primary ways big tech companies generate massive revenue. Although the ethics of this business practice is still highly debated, there’s no doubt that if you have a large online presence, using your data to generate revenue seems like a no-brainer.
This is why Snap Inc., parent company of popular social media platform Snapchat, has recently acquired online shopping platform Fit Analytics. Fit Analytics seems that it will be targeting specifically clothing shopping, as it uses machine learning and information provided to help users find clothing they may like and even their preferred size. Machine learning is a popular method used by social media platform programmers to stay massively competitive for users’ attention, as it essentially records a wide array of information from watch time to what type of content the user consumes to get smarter at suggesting similar content. Although it’s confirmed that Snap Inc. has acquired Fit Analytics, they have not released any more information detailing how, if at all, they plan to use the recently purchased company. US-based tech newspaper TechCrunch hypothesizes how Snapchat may use this new platform, stating “come for the AR filter to see how you look in a Ralph Lauren sweater, and then…shop the look.”
If Snapchat ends up using Fit Analytics for this dressing room AR type feature, it could mean huge innovation for the way we shop for clothing. Personally, I’ve always found that clothes are the worst thing to purchase online, as there’s no way to really know the quality of what you’re purchasing and if it will fit the way you want until it arrives and you try it on. But this new feature may help to reduce that problem to an extent by allowing users the chance to “try on” their clothes before purchasing. All we can do is remain hopeful for new statements from Snap Inc. on the matter.