Snapchat, the popular messaging platform that is extremely popular with the younger crowd, is looking to improve the ads that you see. How are they going to do this? By paying attention to what is in the background of your messages. Yep. The background. Before you send that next message you might want to make sure you are not inadvertently telling Snapchat that you enjoy Head and Shoulders shampoo, The X-Files on DVD box set, or other name brand items that could be picked up.
Through a patent for a new “photo filter” will scan videos and images for object criteria that matches popular products that may be advertised on the service. Basically, if you have the latest Batman movie playing in the background, or the DVD case laying in the background of your Snapchat, then you will probably start seeing ads for Batman and other DC Comics properties. Maybe the ads would simply be more generic than that, those of other action movies or similar.
Another thing that this patent will do is help advertisers push more “promoted” filters to Snapchat users. This could be Batman filters using the “bat signal” or it could be Ghostbusters related adding a ghost in the background for use in your Snapchat messages.
The concern is how they accumulate the information to perfect their photo filter. I am sure by now people realize that Snapchat does not delete your messages after a predetermined amount of time. That has been debunked many times over the last several years. If you still believe that then you have some problems.
Are you a Snapchat user? Are you concerned with their use of their users as guinea pigs in their data mining operations? Does this patent worry you?