Authors Posts by Obaid Chawla

Obaid Chawla

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Currently involved in covering happenings around the world and the latest tech developments in the industry at TheWebTribune, He is a passionate marketing grad with a penchant for writing vociferously. His interests include researching on futurisitc domains like AI and driverless cars

Will 2017 Turn out to Be the Year When Palantir Goes for Its IPO?

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The secretive data mining unicorn of the Silicon Valley, Palantir Technologies, is expecting to finally rank in profitability at the end of this year and it’s highly possible that it’s hinging its bets on a highly expected IPO, also expected to happen later this year, according to a report published in February by Bloomberg.

Currently valued at $20 billion, Palantir has nearly tripled its revenue from the European region but is still floundering on the profitability front, just like other similar stratospherically valued Silicon Valley startups like Snapchat and Uber. Although the CEO of Palantir has said that he is opposed to the idea of going public philosophically, but that his firm is now in a position that could definitely allow them to go public.

Palantir is not an exception when it comes to the point where a highly valued Silicon Valley startup is pushed into going public. Extremely popular tech brands like Snapchat and much less known ones like Okta have filed their IPOs despite generating maximum amounts of venture capital in their initial years, making the Wall Street poised to get its best year as far as Silicon Valley unicorn IPOs are concerned since the dot-com bubble. But why is this phenomenon suddenly gaining momentum with secretive firms like Palantir vying for an IPO despite the fact that they will lose a lot of control over what company data and figure need to be shared and being open to much more public accountability?

The answer lies in the stark difference that their valuations and losses present. Snapchat is valued at a whopping $24.5 billion but it still raked in losses amounting to $515 million in 2016. Cash-strapped and not being able to foretell as to how much time it will take before they finally turn profitable has made the investor groups anxious because when they go out to sell their stakes at the stratospheric market valuations, few buyers emerge.

Not a lot of investors are willing to lose money on such a consistent and high multiple as the Unicorn make them bear, so they start pushing and clamoring for going public so that they can gain access to real, hard public cash and make those on paper tantalizing valuations turn around some value for them and their investments.

In the past, Tech founders had a lot of reasons not to go for an IPO, as the money just kept on coming from a wide variety of streams like hedge funds and independent wealth funds, helping them stay afloat, while going for an IPO represented the dangers of handing over the stakes of their immensely powerful technology to trading bots and Wall street corporate men who would make the firm’s stock lose or gain value at every single step or misstep.

But as the scenario changes and despite the huge interest and make believe valuations, these unicorns failed to generate profitability, IPO seemed like an only option to salvage some much-needed cash to keep the business up and running.

What Palantir Technologies actually does is not known very widely, due to highly secretive nature of their business which involves various aspects of data mining and cooperating with various intelligence agencies, an IPO could change all of that and probably be something that the founders may not be comfortable with. But considering the losses and the failure that employees and co-investors have been facing in the aim of selling their shares, an IPO is more or less likely on the cards to be announced anytime soon in 2017.

And Palantir would not be the only one lining up at the Wall Street as similar unicorns like Blue Apron, Dropbox and Spotify are also making their efforts to have access to some public cash, finally giving way to the idea of embracing the Wall Street and making the Silicon Valley a little less populated with Unicorns.

Does the Problem of Child Obesity Have Its Roots in the Mother’s Womb?

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Obesity has become a pressing health issue for a lot of children from all age groups and parents are trying their best to reduce the health effects of this problem through all sorts of control mechanisms like making the child adopt a better diet and play more physically exerting games. But parents might have to do more than just make the child follow healthy habits as according to a new research; the risk of obesity in children is linked to their mother’s lifestyle, health condition and the diet they have while they still are in their mother’s womb.

The research further establishes this claim by signifying that the mother’s lifestyle and health condition influence the modifications to their DNA of the baby while still in the womb. The research was conducted at the University of Southampton by scientists who examined the tissue of the umbilical cord in which they set out to examine and study epigenetic modifications, who, without affecting the original sequence of the DNA, control and regulate the gene activity.

During the period of development of the embryo in the mother’s womb, DNA methylation, a crucial epigenetic modification sequence is hard at work and the changes that occur at this stage affect the amount of risk of obesity the child will have in his/her later life. These changes are found to have a link with the mother’s lifestyle and health condition at the time of pregnancy which underscores the importance of caring of the baby’s health even before it’s born.

The mother, who is carrying the baby, would need to have a certain nutritional pattern to follow if the baby’s risk of obesity is to be brought down and ensure that the kid stays healthy in its later life. Further introspecting the study, scientists also stand the chance to develop innovative approaches through the evidence unearthed and help treat people with obesity in the older age groups as well.

Being a mother is one of the most wonderful of experiences and as the baby grows and gets nurtured inside her for nearly nine months, the bond between these two sentient beings in immensely strong. This new research, which has discovered a direct link towards the importance of a mother’s role in her child’s health even before its born, will now help mothers understand how deep this relationship really is and how they can help their children grow up to be healthy and strong by being careful with their own bodies before and during the time the pregnancy occurs.

This research has further implications for scientists and researchers to delve deeper and bring in a mechanism to actually predict the extent to which this epigenetic modification could affect the risk of obesity in the womb so that accurate predictions could be made that will serve to be immensely beneficial in controlling later life obesity issues effectively.

Virtual Reality Could Be the Best Tech Tool yet to Relieve Mental Illnesses

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One of the hottest trends in the tech space nowadays is Virtual Reality or VR as it has finally entered the consumer electronic space with models like the Oculus Rift. Though VR was first developed during the 1960s, it took nearly six decades for it to come through to the general public and with the advent of highly powerful smartphone with which we can attach our VR headsets to, we can now finally look for more feasible applications for it and take it further out than just relegating it to the gamer’s world.

Now scientists and medical practitioners are seeing the benefits of VR in tackling mental health issues and psychological problems in a much more pronounced way and the results have been highly encouraging. A study published recently by Cambridge reviewed all of the previous research publications that intended to assess and understand the application of VR in treating mental health problems. The report reviewed 285 studies and found that VR has the most potential to be used as a tool in treating mental problems like anxiety and phobias while the results for other similar issues like PSTD were also promising.

VR’s prowess in relieving mental health problems and more importantly the ones which involve some form of exposure to situational conditions lies in its ability to create stimulating environments in front of the patients which inadvertently helps in gaining better results from the treatment. Psychological difficulties like anxiety are often overridden by the individual’s fear over a certain situation, like for e.g. going out in public due to a negative body image and VR can help create that same situation within the clinic where the doctor or psychologists can then act as a guide to help the patient get relieved of fear from that very situation which acts as a trigger for problems like anxiety.

Medical Professionals have long known that exposure to the trigger situation can help the patient in the best manner when problems like anxiety are in question and that the effect of other treatment options like counseling is limited at best. VR has proven to be a game changer in the mental health arena and is already poised to make a huge difference in the field as more and more powerful and complex situations are supported with the difficulty level getting graded and controlled by the medical professional as per the prevalent condition of the patient.

VR is also more acceptable to patients as a treatment option because most people would resist going out in a certain real life situation that might trigger a mental disturbance in them, but putting on a headset inside the comfort of a clinic is more comforting and relaxing.

More research is required to further substantiate these claims and make VR an important part of treating other more common forms of mental problems like depression so that the technology could be utilized to serve as one of the first renditions of a major tech tool that made it big in the medical arena.

Active Commuting to Work Will Make You Live Longer

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A lot of us go to work each day and a major part of that activity each day constitutes our commute from our workplaces and back, but what seems like just a part of our daily routine might hold the key to our better health.

According to a recent study published by the highly esteemed THE British Medical Journal, by adopting a more active commute style like walking or cycling, we can considerably reduce the risk of death as compared to when we use non-active commute methods like driving or taking public transport to reach our offices.

While the research still falls short on exactly how much positive benefit we can derive from active commute methods, the study found a positive correlation between lowered risks of death from all causes and walking or cycling to work.

This is the first comprehensive and acclaimed study in this regard as similar research on the same topic always had some glaring discrepancies like not accounting for variable factors or differentiating on whether cycling or walking is more effective as an active commute method.

The research was led by scientists from the University of Glasgow situated in the United Kingdom. A large-scale study was initiated that looked exclusively at how exactly does active commuting eliminates or lessens the risk of diseases that can cause death like cancer, cardiovascular issues, and other similar health problems. The scientists delved into the UK BioBank, a comprehensive bank of data that contains the biological information compiled from more than five hundred thousand adults from the United Kingdom, and attained details from participants who had an average age of 53. The data set consisted of 264,377 unique people, whose way of commuting each day to work was documented and then their health was tracked through the number of deaths and hospital admissions for a period of 5 consecutive years.

The findings signified that an active commute lifestyle could stand to significantly reduce the risk of being affected by morbid and high fatality diseases like Cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Factors like smoking, diet, gender and place of work were accounted for in the research. Cycling fared better than walking in active commuting as it helps to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality to the lowest range possible.

The findings of this study, however, did not control for factors like comorbidities and obesity as the data for to substantiate these associations was not available with the researchers. However, this study highlighted the importance of adopting a healthy and active commute lifestyle for the individual and underscored the need of formulating a policy at the government level that promote it for the individual like dedicated cycle lanes, subsidy on purchasing bikes and similar initiatives.

Snapchat debuts its impressive “New World Lenses” AR feature

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The New World Lenses Feature by Snapchat- Snapchat/YouTube

 

Snapchat had what Facebook didn’t and as this simple yet powerful reality made Facebook to try and aggressively incorporate similar technological audience attractions & features into its own platforms, Snapchat has pushed further beyond in the realm of AR or augmented reality.

AR or augmented reality allows people to superimpose virtual objects on a real world scenario, mostly through the use of a camera and Snapchat was one of the first firms to bring AR onto a social media platform successfully and pique user interest on social media. “Lenses” as they were called by Snapchat, were a series of AR led interactive selfie filters that helped in catapulting the popularity of Snap to the next stage. These selfie filters came in a wide variety and were insanely popular ranging from people puking rainbows when they opened their mouth to puppy dog faces that instantaneously appeared on people’s face.

But now, Snap has gone a step ahead and announced its highly impressive “New World Lenses” feature that aims to diversify its original augmented reality feature arsenal and captivate the now 158m strong user base with something new, offbeat and original.

This new feature called “New World Lenses” will allow users to apply the same AR technology to a much wide world scenario and not just be limited to putting interactive filters onto faces. Users will now be able to put incorporate rainbows onto garden picnics while being on a picnic or put in a few beautiful flowers onto simple grass using the rear camera, as shown in the new announcement video by Snapchat.

This new announcement will help Snapchat to manage the stiff competition it has been facing from Facebook and divert some attention away from the controversial comments being attributed to Snap’s Founder, Evan Spiegel leading to highly negative media coverage.

Although there has been no announcement yet about a “Sponsored New World Lenses” option, it can be safely assumed that Snap will definitely look ahead to open this new feature to advertisers just like it has done with its Geofilters and Lenses category.

Here is the Announcement made by Snapchat about the new feature on Tuesday:

Toyota’s Fuel Cell Truck still far away from commercial adoption despite early appreciation

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Toyota Motor North America

 

Toyota Motor Corp’s, the global car and truck manufacturer, unveiled its highly secretive “Project Portal” on Wednesday. The project is a hydrogen fuel cell Class 8 heavy truck that was developed by a very small team of engineers in a secret facility in southeast Michigan and then the track tests were conducted outside Phoenix. The truck produces zero tailpipe emission as the energy needed to power the electric drive motor comes from an onboard energy fuel stack which utilizes the electrons contained in hydrogen cells to produce electricity.

This new innovative fuel redemption technology is for the first time applied to the heavy vehicle class but despite early optimism and approval from environmentalists, it still needs some way to go before its commercially viable in the trucking sector.

Toyota is one of the pioneers in this cutting edge technology and already has transit buses in Japan that utilize this amazing zero emissions fuel system. The company has also used this technology in the category of Sedans through its Mirai model, which is now available in some parts of Europe and Japan.

But, class 8 trucks is an altogether  different category because it will involve a high amount of investment on part of commercial transportation companies to make this new truck a part of their fleet and replace old ones and no company would move forward unless the commercial viability is not duly established.

Hard data is required in many facets to make the case for Project Portal, which includes the cost per mile and the infrastructure costs for installing hydrogen fuelling facilities. This fuel model might be zero emissions, but it doesn’t deploy renewable energy, a factor which might tilt the case in favor of the electric battery led models by other firms like Tesla.

If Toyota needs this class 8 truck to move beyond its present stage and carve out a market share for itself, it would now need to consolidate the truck’s economic advantages and how it could help commercial transportation companies in the long run.

Despite the fact that the Project Portal needs hard data to pique the interest of the goods movement sector in the long run, it’s zero emissions technology has definitely proven to be reliable and could help the sector, which is notorious for its high emissions, equalize the sheet and play its long overdue part in efforts towards climate control.

The question of reliability of this new technology would definitely of the biggest interest to commercial transporters because other environmentally friendly fuel options like electric power, have so far failed to meet the expectations of the industry. Toyota has all the motives to go forward with the hard data tests because immense commercial advantages can ensue for all stakeholders if the Project Portal turns out to beat other alternative fuel models towards adoption in the trucking sector.

Currently no one else has introduced a hydrogen fuel cell truck in the class 8 category except Toyota, which makes it comfortably poised to carry out the initial tests with time on its hand and it has already begun doing it. A freight hauling test operation is being conducted in limited capacity around the port of Los Angeles and Long beach area with a short haul class 8 heavy fuel cell truck.

While Nikola Motors, a Utah based firm, has announced a similar product to Project portal, its prototype will be unveiled in 2019, which provides ample time for the Toyota’s model to be tested in various ways and see if it retains the promise it was blended out for.

Will Artificial Intelligence be racist?

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The most distinctive and most supreme quality about humans is their intelligence. Intelligence, in a very simplified definition, is the inferences we draw from raw data by processing it through multiple degrees or layers of our brain through learned experiences. Our intelligence, developed through hundreds of millions of years of evolution, has enabled us to not just transform our lives but dominate the planet Earth and all the living things that live on it. We, the humans, have made multiple jumps and innovations to take our civilization to the next state of existence. From the Pyramids to the modern-day industrial civilization, we have come a long way and we are now poised to take the next leap, i.e. develop an intelligence better than ours.

Artificial intelligence or deep learning is a concept that has been lingering around and the idea has been toyed around with by numerous scientists since World War II when Allen Turner, the British scientist, made a sort of system that mimicked some behaviors of the human brain in its most primitive form. It has seven decades and now finally, we have made some important breakthroughs in this field lately that have brought us tantalizingly closer towards making our dream of developing a superior intelligence a plausible reality.

Leading the race are tech firms like Google, who now have whole departments with high budgets dedicated towards making progress in the field of artificial intelligence and powering our way towards the future with breathtaking technology like driverless cars and trucks, autonomous heavy construction and print machinery, human home assistants, intelligent decision makers to be used in the fields of medicine and a whole lot more. This technology is going to make our lives more enriched and a whole lot easier definitely.

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But, when developing a technology that has to have intellectual powers superior than us to justify its existence, we definitely need to look at the downsides of it as well, after all it runs on sets of data that are processed through layers of artificial neurons who internalize a single set of simplified data and then make complex connections to constitute layers of decisions making powers. We, as humans, definitely know the limitations of the reliability and limitations of each data set and the vulnerabilities of drawing inferences through just raw data. There has been a lot of talk about the dangers of rogue AI, by leading scientists and entrepreneurs like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, about how a powerful intelligent system could develop the powers to sustain and perform decisions all by itself without the need for human input.

Issues like racism, discrimination, and biases are all human traits that are frowned upon and if we take a closer retrospective look at these elements, we get to know that these forms of issues exist because some humans internalized the wrong set of data and drew inferences from them that they believe are perfectly okay to not just practice but relish and pass down to later generations.

An answer is only as good as the data fed to secure it. A recent research published in Science, led by researchers from the University of Princeton and the University of Bath, concluded that artificial intelligence also has the tendency to unconsciously display bias after being subjected to an implicit association test. This test checked out how the artificially intelligent systems associated words with feelings and whether there were any biases that it had internalized from the data that it had been fed with. The results signified that AI systems were showing a high amount of bias in issues like associating negative words and connotations with black people and they also had sexist attitudes towards women when asked to list down the kinds of jobs that women are supposed to or can occupy.

This problem signals an early roadblock and one of the potential dangers of letting the machines learn all by themselves through unfiltered data. Ethical behavior has been one of the hottest points of debate in the field of AI and Elon Musk, the tech entrepreneur, has opened up an institute called “OpenAI” , which in its own words, has been supplied with the following mission statement, “Discovering and enacting the path to safe artificial general intelligence.” The effort by Elon Musk is commendable and it’s worthy because his own companies like Tesla, will rely heavily on AI for their future product coherence and subsequent success and this concern on Musk’s part shows concern from one of the leading voices among the proponents of this great technology.

AI definitely holds much promise for the future in that it will significantly alter the way we now approach fields like medicine, healthcare, safer roads, increasing industrial efficiency and more. But this system needs to be supplied with an ethical framework and proper demarcation of boundaries on what it learns and how it learns it so that we can get results that are targeted towards reducing the attitudes of bias, discrimination, sexism and racism making this world a much better place to live and thrive in the future.

Google Play Will Now Play with Your Pets While You Are Away!

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Image Courtesy: Google Blog

To all the pet owners out there who just love their felines and canines more than anything else in the world, Google just made a remarkable addition to their repertoire which will leave you amazed, and more importantly. Thankful!

Whether we are leaving for our offices in the morning or packing to go away for a short vacation trip for a couple of days, leaving our pets alone in the house feels an immensely cruel thing to do. It’s leaving someone you love with nothing to do and with no one there to play with while you are gone. This feeling is probably the worst in the world when the innocent face of your pet which is filled with nothing but love sees you going away and you feel horrible. Maybe if there was a way to do something that would redeem our emotions and ensure the happiness of our pets while we are gone?

Google is our quintessential modern-day help for everything and now it’s even extending its assistance in taking care of our pets while we are away. The new Google Play for pets feature allows your favorite animals to enjoy by playing highly interactive games specifically designed by keeping those adorable paws in mind.

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Image Courtesy: YouTube

This feature, reserved for just pet cats and dogs on IOS, which can either be accessed using 3D touch on the app icon or by going through the setting and selecting “I am feeling woof” or “I am feeling meow” to convert your device into an all entertainment platform for your pet friend.

The best part about this feature is that once you select the pet-friendly settings, a paw appears on the Google page, which means that you can now hand over your device to your furry little companion sitting right there.

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Image Courtesy: YouTube

A simple pup’s paw will open up a whole new world that contains Frisbees, bones and more. No query is far-fetched and this experience has been optimized to suit the limited thinking capabilities of your pet.

Training is easy and you can just teach your pet to play games like you teach it other tricks but with Google at your help this time around.

On Android, the feature transforms and becomes all inclusive towards the animal kingdom. Whether it’s your pet iguana or turtle, Google Play for Pets has something for everyone. It even features multi-player mode so that your friends and colleagues can have their adorable pets compete against yours while there is always those Virtual Reality games that make you feel more engaged with your pet.

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Image Courtesy: YouTube

This new feature will take care of your pets while you are gone, so you stop worrying as they enjoy their heart out. Your pet now has a new best friend named Google Play and Its Purr-fect fun and tail-waggingly adorable.

How to Develop a Great Relationship with Your Stepchild

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Getting into a relationship with someone who already has kids is not that hard as compared to striking a bond with the stepchildren themselves. Being a stepmom or a stepdad is immensely difficult as the child often harbors angst towards anyone who replaces their biological parent and probably the separation also had a bad effect on it as well. This relationship is much more complicated due to the various shades of grey that you might have to deal with. The barriers between you and your stepchild will definitely be there at the start of your relationship and the role might receive little support and appreciation from others considering the amount of emotional toil you might go through during this period but it can definitely be done. This is your guide to turn this weak bond into a strong relationship without going through the frustrations:

Respect their Biological Parent (Whose position you are in now)

The most sensitive bone of contention between you and your stepchild will always be their biological parent. The highest amount of problems stem from the fact that the child misses their separated parent and at first, this might lead towards feelings of suspicion and jealousy towards you. You need to assert the notion that you are respecting their biological parent and you won’t come in the way of their relationship.

If you want your child to develop a soft corner for you at the very beginning, refrain from speaking anything bad about their parent. Always ask them to keep their relationship alive with their parent and take care of them even if means going the extra mile and taking them for visits. You share a very fragile relationship with your stepchild and this would come off as a welcome move as far as the child is concerned.

Let the relationship be run at their pace:

Even if you are quite kind and loving towards your step child, the antagonistic feeling they have towards you will diminish in a long time. Any single mistake at being assertive will make your stepchild feel bad about you because you don’t share that strong a connection which provides you a high degree of parental control.

The stepchild will definitely take time to accept you and even more to develop feelings of love towards you. Don’t rush it, but give your relationship some time and if your intentions are kind enough, the child will definitely recognize them and start liking you in a more intense manner. They need to work through the diverse emotions they are having by seeing you around, let them pace it out and understand the new family and relationships for themselves.

Reduce the Anxiety:

 

Children always have their moments of anxiety and fear while dealing with new people and you are a relation that it did not choose for itself. You need to understand that the child might feel awkward while interacting with you at first and any questions that may sound good from their real parents, might not work well in your favor. They might see you as pesky if you ask questions about their school activities, homework or even about their friends. This can backfire and escalate pretty quickly, so stay away from these sort of questions.

Instead, what you can do is to try and get closer to them more naturally like getting involved in playing games with them or enjoying their time with the house pet. These activities will help you build a relationship faster as the child sees you more as a nice human and a friend. Your stepchild might resent in a lot of different modes at first, respect that and try to believe in only your kindness and love towards them. Strengthen the trust first before moving on any further.

Engage them in the family structure:

When we talk about a family, it can become quite a complicated relationship structure when a stepmom or a stepdad is now involved. The child was accustomed to their very own mother or father and now a new person assuming that role might be confusing for the child.

It’s best that you help your stepchild in accepting this new family structure by doing things that a family does together like going out for camping trips or planning holiday parties at home. The stepchild might not give you attention at first and may be involved with their remaining biological parent more than with you but the more you do it, the better chances your stepchild has of knowing you as a person and accepting your relationship with them.

Being a stepparent can be frustrating, exhausting and probably even a guilty experience as mostly the blame lies on you if the relationship might not work out. You just need to be tough and hang in there for as long as possible to develop the special bond with your stepchild that both of you can cherish and make it even more unique than ever.

How Can You Optimize Your Brand on Snapchat?

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Brands thrive on engagement and social media marketing is the perfect way to get the most number of people to interact with your brand on a more personal level. One of the most recent and incredibly popular social media platforms to allow this to happen in an unprecedented manner is Snapchat. With more daily active users than Twitter and 10 billion videos watched each day, Snapchat is one of the most important avenues for brands to increase visibility and improve outreach.

But Snapchat is so different from other social media platforms that often marketers find it hard to negotiate and build their campaigns on the massively popular app. Videos, called Snaps, no longer than 10 seconds, which disappear after 24 hours and never come back. Funny and creative, but immensely interactive, filters fill up the video content that users produce each day. There is peculiarity and a uniqueness in nearly all of the features and this often makes it a problem for marketers to understand how exactly a brand should be promoted on Snapchat, but it’s not that difficult as it seems.

Snapchatters:

To optimize your brand on Snapchat, you first would need to learn more about the people who use it. It has over 150 million active daily users and the biggest portion of this set is dominated by millennials, lying in the age bracket between 18-34 years old. Older people are low in numbers when it comes to Snapchat but the fact that people over 25 now comprise nearly half of the users signing up for the app, is an encouraging sign for the future.

If your target market or the demographic avatar features millennials in any way, then you got to have a presence on Snapchat. For products that are targeted towards an older audience, Snapchat might not be such a good promotional tool and even a low-key presence would suffice. But if the younger generation is where your potential customer might lie, then it will definitely be useful for you to know about Snapchat’s latest business features.

The Tools:

Seeing the massive amount of popularity that the app garnered in just four years, Snapchat opened up its platform to businesses with a wide range of exclusive features and tools, which remain just as offbeat as the app itself.

Snap Ads between Stories:

This one is self-explanatory and the ads would appear in between the stories themselves. A user has the power to skip them and they won’t interfere within the stories themselves. The best part about these ads is that they would be a full 10 seconds long and will be full screen. If the user is interested in the ad then just a simple swipe up would lead to a lot more available options like redirecting to a website, video or ask them to download and install a particular app. As compared to the click-through rates of other social media platforms, 5 times more swipe ups occur on SnapAds, according to Snapchat.

Snapchat Geofilters:

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Courtesy: Snapchat/ YouTube

Depending on your budget, Snapchat offers two types of Geofilters, which are like specific or customized graphics that can be overlaid on a story. Sponsored Geofilters are expensive and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and On-Demand Geofilters can be acquired for as low as $5.

On Demand Geofilters allow your brand to get much more exposure as the customer can share a story overlapped by the Geofilter that allows people to know where the customer was and what was the name of the brand. These Geofilters work best for inter-city or inter-town events.

But if you are vying for a larger audience like a nationwide campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness, then a Sponsored Geofilter would work best for your brand to get the maximum amount of exposure and impressions. According to Snapchat, these Sponsored Geofilters can reach around 40-60% of the daily users which explains their high costs. The investment is worth it considering the huge amount of exposure the Geofilter allows.

Sponsored Lens:

Swapping faces and mouthing colorful rainbows is already a rage among Snapchatters so why not let businesses promote their products through this amazing feature called Lens. The user simply has to hold its face and the Lens would get activated, allowing real-time interaction with the brand itself. Gatorade was one of the biggest success stories of using Lenses to promote products as the famous Gatorade shower, which follows after sports victories by coaches and players, was mimicked by Lenses and it garnered over 165 million views.

As a business, the cost might be a bit on the higher side when it comes to making a dedicated lens for your brand, but the stickiness of this feature is so monumental that its high time you get one made for your business as well.

Businesses are currently exploring ways to optimize Snapchat and to get the most out of this amazing platform. The possibilities for businesses are just starting to open up and the more you allow your brand to get integrated within the platform, the better your chances are of amassing a sizeable audience that remains in touch, courtesy of the wonderful features of this absolutely beautiful tech phenomenon of the current decade.

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