Creative Commons photo by David Stewart is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The app’s latest updates might surprise you

Marie Salcido  – September 26, 2018

You might use Snapchat to send photo messages to friends or upgrade your selfies with adorable filters, but how about to shop for products, or even register to vote?

This week, the photo messaging app announced its latest updates, which are incredibly convenient, if unexpected.

The first, called Visual Search, will allow Snapchat users to use their camera to identify items and search for them on Amazon, making it all the easier to overdo it on spontaneous purchases. Simply point and focus your camera on a barcode or a product, and let the app go to work to recognize the item on Amazon. From there, a link will appear on your screen to your Amazon mobile app or to amazon.com, where you’ll be able to shop the product directly. Snap says the feature is still being tested, but they’ll be “rolling it out slowly” to users starting this week.

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Another service is available via Snap as of this week: voter registration. Yesterday, September 25, marked National Voter Registration Day, and in celebration, the app created an easy-to-use process to help Americans of voting age prepare to cast their ballot. Following a link on your user profile, you can register quickly and easily, and can follow efforts and stories surrounding the midterm elections via the app’s Discover page.

The photo messaging app’s illustrious features are getting more complex, and while we’ll always appreciate its basic photo-sharing purposes, Snapchat is evolving into a more practical daily resource.