05 October 2016

DIGITAL - Facebook Launches Marketplace & Snapchat Rebrands

Changes in the digital world this week saw an expansion of services by Facebook and Snapchat.

Snapchat announced a corporate name change to Snap Inc. as they rebrand themselves as a digital lifestyle company.

The fun Snapchat app won’t be affected, but the change will allow the company to expand their offerings.

The same day as they announced the new name, Snap Inc. also introduced a new product - Spectacles.

The glasses are a totally new type of camera that records video. The video plays full screen on any device, in any orientation, and captures the human perspective with a 115 degree field of view.

Unlike smartphones, which record video in a rectangular format, video via Spectacles is circular, allowing the viewer to watch the content naturally, whether in portrait or landscape mode, the way the user “saw” it.

Spectacles bring back memories of the failed Google Glass and the company will have to overcome the association consumers may have.

Facebook launched Marketplace - a place to discover, buy and sell items such as clothes, jewelry, household items and even cars.

The company observed that in recent years more people have been using the digital media channel to buy and sell items.

In fact, more than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups on Facebook each month — from families in a local neighborhood to collectors around the world.

Marketplace opens with photos of items that people nearby have listed for sale.

Search is available to find something specific, and results can be filtered by location, category or price.

A variety of categories such as Household, Electronics and Apparel are available to browse through. 

Marketplace is rolling out to everyone over 18 years old in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand on the Facebook app for iPhone and Android.

Facebook plans to extend the service to its desktop site and additional countries over the coming months.

Marketplace is seen as a major e-commerce push by Facebook and will be increased competition for sites such as Kijiji and craigslist.

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