With Facebook eying its every move, Snap is busy making strategic plays to prove that it’s a business with a scalable revenue stream. The recent announcement of location-based Context Cards, a partnership with TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Lyft, and OpenTable, represents one such enhancement.
If a restaurant in your friend’s Snap looks enticing, you can now double-click the Snap to see more information about the restaurant, like hours and reviews. You can even reserve a table and book an Uber to get there – all within the Snapchat app.
In the context of Snap’s war with Instagram, the pivot puts Snap once again at an advantage. Instagram doesn’t play well with outside apps; the closest thing that it offers to Context Cards is clickable links in Stories, which bring users to the linked Instagram account (of, for example, a restaurant) but lack additional functionalities.
The move also positions Snapchat as a challenger to Yelp. One of the primary discovery platforms for restaurants, Yelp recorded more than 162 million visits in September, many of them coming from Google searches. By acting as a discovery platform, Snapchat could cut into Yelp’s mechanism for user acquisition.
It’s worth noting that Snap isn’t the only company positioned to benefit from Context Cards. Sites like Foursquare, Zomato, and OpenTable own half of the discovery traffic for restaurants. The Snapchat partnership might be the saving grace for these platforms, helping boost site traffic and customer acquisition and driving engagement with millennials.