Snapchat has acquired a patent from AR location startup Drop. The patent includes the location-based messaging. With this development, Snap Map is taking a step closer to reality. It plans to tie its online content to offline reality through AR. Drop on other hand, developed an app way back in 2013, where one could post photos or text to a certain location, maybe a landmark or business, and followers could check it out when in that area. And now, Snapchat is planning on using Drop’s intellectual property for similar feature. It could use it for Snap Map or Snapchat’s AR lenses for location-based messages.
Snap’s interest in Drop isn’t something new. They have been eager and interested in the startup from way back in 2015. According to sources from Drop, “Snapchat reached out to buy the IP portfolio. We went back and forth on terms and price, but ended up selling them our whole portfolio of IP. The patent included a very detailed section on the line by line technology implementation so the owner of the patent would be able to replicate the code consistently with our original technology specifications.”
There is a race between various social media. Facebook had revealed Facebook’s augmented reality Camera Effects Platform earlier this year. And much more recently, Instagram launched Location Stories, which shows people’s photos and videos from a certain location. This clearly shows the race brewing between Snap and Facebook/Instagram on who makes these location-based features more successful among users.
Snap Map is obviously looking for ways to improve and stay a step ahead of its primary competitor– Instagram. With the combination from Drop’s location-based technology, Snap is trying to make a strong foothold in social media. Of course, they need to work on privacy issues to make it a success story to find friends based on location.