Here’s another one for the “we really want to integrate generative AI but we don’t really know how” list.
This week, Snapchat is rolling out new Bitmoji pets, powered by AI, for Snapchat+ subscribers.
The process enables you to create a digital pet, which you can customize however you like.
Your pet will then accompany you on the Snap Map, so you can go on adventures with your unreal animal friend in the app.
The AI element is seemingly only in the creation, your Bitmoji cat won’t suddenly start answering complex mathematical queries or anything. But the idea is that Snap is now able to provide expanded generative AI capacity, which it’s already integrated into profile images, via its “Dreams” tool, as well as in chat, through its “My AI” chatbot function.
Seemingly, Snap’s looking to latch onto the AI bandwagon, and spark more interest via generative AI tools, and no doubt there will be a lot of interest in digitally generated pets as well, like Tamagotchi for a new generation.
But at the same time, it’s not really enhancing the social experience of the app.
I mean, maybe it is, maybe Snap users are really keen to show off their pets, and this provides another means for them to do so. Snap already has AR lenses specifically for dogs, and based on engagement with those, it could make perfect sense for Snap to also add in digital pets as an accompaniment.
But as noted, it does feel a little like social apps are trying to jam in generative AI options, as a means to jump aboard the AI bandwagon, without really adding significant value to the user experience.
Then again, Snap’s usually very good on this front, in implementing features that do align with the user experience, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a lot of Bitmoji dogs and cats suddenly bouncing around the Snap Map.
Snapchat+ has also proven to be a winner, with over 7 million paying subscribers (which likely increased again over Christmas), and it does stand to reason that ongoing updates and additions like this will help to maintain interest in the option, even if it’s not a major long-term engagement consideration.
But maybe it is. Maybe, then, Bitmoji animal clothes will also present another new market, and Snap will once again underline their nous for aligning with audience interest.