Evan Spiegel predicted the future.
Last February, the Snapchat founder predicted that Tim Cook and Apple would be moving in on the social media giant’s territory. “We face significant competition in almost every aspect of our business,” Snap said in their IPO filing. “This includes larger, more established companies — like Apple.”
It didn’t take long for the Spiegel prophecy to come true: this week, at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference, Cook unveiled their attack plan.
Meet Memojis, a personalized version of Apple’s Animoji that launched last year — and an almost direct copy of Snapchat’s Bitmoji.
These avatars are a natural evolution of how we communicate digitally. In the early days of the internet, online communities were text-based. We hung out on IRC channels and AIM (RIP). Message boards sprung up for every niche.
As smartphones became more accessible, everything’s changed.
Existing platforms, like Twitter and Messenger, adopted photos, GIFs, and stickers. As the entire world discovered the professional camera in their pocket, newer entrants like Snapchat and Instagram flourished as visual mediums.
Video was next, with the explosion of YouTube and Facebook’s new emphasis on videos. 300 hours of user-generated video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. Snapchat videos drive 10 billion views a day.
Unfortunately, not every video goes #viral. Creating great content is harder than ever, with an entire industry of Youtubers competing to capture your attention. Even the most basic special effects require a massive CGI team.
Tech’s solution? Augmented and virtual reality, blended seamlessly into your phone. Snapchat filters and Memoji are just the beginning. Completely immersive virtual avatars are coming.
It’s a brave new digital world, and both Apple and Snapchat are competing to control your portal into their virtual realities.
Apple’s portal? Your iPhone X, with seamless transitions between augmented real-world experiences like Pokémon Go and completely virtual experiences through the eyes of your Memoji.
Snap’s portal? Your camera, experienced through the Snapchat app and your Spectacles. Evan Spiegel sells Snap as a “camera company” first.
There’s no clear winner… yet. It’s entirely plausible that Snapchat and iPhone X will be the winning combination. Apple and Snapchat partnered up last September to design hyper-realistic filters that can track your face movements.
The future of communication isn’t here quite yet: iOS 12 will come later this year, jam-packed with new features to help you take control of your digital privacy. Get an iOS 12 sneak peek. 📱