Snapchat held its developer conference on Thursday online, adapting to the new reality of social distancing while looking to create a new future in augmented reality. Snapchat also set its sights on Silicon Valley rivals like Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, highlighting products that take aim at the core specialties of these platforms.
One new feature called "happening now" did not escape the notice of industry watchers for mimicking the mantra of Twitter, which is "what's happening now." Both platforms are catering to the public's reliance on social media during a time of unrest. "Clearly working to become a real-time news source," tweeted Rich Greenfield, a partner at tech research firm LightShed, as Snapchat released the "happening now" tab on Thursday.
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel opened the summit by addressing the role Snapchat has played as a communication tool during the coronavirus pandemic and then more recently how the community has taken part in protests for civil rights, which erupted around the world in support of George Floyd. Last month, Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis.
"We find ourselves together in a new world still yet to be defined," Spiegel said. "And amidst the many challenges we face, including the global pandemic and the scourge of racial violence and injustice, we all share a desire to uplift our global community through the love we have for one another."
Here is what Snapchat covered at the summit: