Introducing Snapchat Scan title banner

Key Features of Snapchat Scan

26th August 2021 marked the introduction of Snapchat’s next generation Scan feature which was previously launched in 2019. After 2 years of intense development and machine learning, Snapchat is finally getting a major upgrade through its strategic placement of the Scan button on the front and centre of the main camera screen app interface.

Here are 5 key features you can look forward to.

1. Shoppable Feature

Ever had trouble searching for a piece of apparel worn by your favourite artist which you really loved but don’t know where to get it? Fret not! Scan’s shoppable feature enables you to locate the perfect outfit that is within your budget at the tip of your fingers.

Snapchat’s acquisition of Screenshop in April 2021 highlights the pivotal role Snapchat plays to incorporate eCommerce into AR, thereby transforming and integrating its platform to create an omnichannel shopping experience. By simply uploading screenshots of a model wearing the clothing you are interested to purchase, Scan breaks down the various apparels into subcategories and will recommend stores where you can purchase similar designs from. Clicking on the options available leads you directly to the store’s online shop, making it a seamless shopping experience for you.


As most users using this feature have transactional intent, brands can leverage on this to increase its web views while propelling users towards conversion and eventual purchase, ultimately boosting its sales.

Key tip: To increase accuracy, it is best if you upload a picture with plain or solid colour backgrounds.

2. Nutrition barcode scanner

Snapchat’s humble beginning as a multimedia instant messaging application has enabled users to be well versed with utilising its camera function. It is evident that Snapchat is evolving to become a lifestyle application complementing the daily aspects of Snapchatters lives.

Many consumers like you and I are often confused when reading food labels due to the lack of understanding towards certain technical terms (like trans-fat versus saturated fats) which brands use for their product labels. Powered by Yuka, Snapchat’s Nutrition scanner rates and offers detailed information to help users understand the quality and nutritional value of the item. Simply point your camera to the product’s barcode for a few seconds and Snapchat does the magic.

Snapchat nutritional scanner

With over 1.5 million food products stored in Yuka’s artificial intelligence database and nutritional value calculated based on the European Nutri-Score method, the transparency, accuracy and ease of accessibility helps promote healthier eating habits amongst Snapchatters.

From understanding the product’s origin to knowing what is good or bad for you, this feature helps you navigate through supermarkets and your kitchen more swiftly and effortlessly. It also enhances your daily mundane decisions which includes selecting healthier ingredients to purchase for your meals and planning for your diet or muscle gain meal plans more effectively.

Key tip: By tapping on the share button at the bottom right-hand side of the scan results, you can share the nutritional information with your family or friends who are not on Snapchat.

3. Math solver

Remember that time in high school when you felt frustrated as you couldn’t solve a particular math problem? Well, you aren’t alone as many high school students dread math! However, with universities across Australia implementing mathematics as part of their admission prerequisites, 80% of year 11 and 12 students are currently enrolled in at least a math subject.

With most Snapchat global users aged between 13-17 years old, Snapchat partnered with Photomath to develop a math solver, aiming to aid students’ learning, thereby boosting their grades. Users are only required to open the Snapchat application, take a photo of the question and Snapchat will display the answer in seconds.


Despite having many alternatives available in the market, Math solver solves questions in a couple of seconds, is free to use and guides users through a step-by-step explanation of how to resolve the math problem. This added feature is especially useful for users whose in-class learning experience may have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, for those who do not have the financial capability to afford costly extracurricular tuition services and for adults to confidently explain math concepts to their children.

Key tip: This feature works perfectly for both written and typed questions. For higher accuracy, do ensure that your handwriting is legible!

4. Discover songs

Ever had an instance where you heard an unfamiliar song playing in the restaurant which caught your attention but you felt too embarrassed to ask the wait staff for its title? Well, with Snapchat’s discover songs feature, that is supported by Shazam, you can easily discover new soundtracks anywhere and at any time.


To identify a soundtrack, you simply tap and hold the screen to Shazam a song. Within a few seconds, the song title will be displayed on your screen. You can choose either to listen to the track on Spotify or through Apple Music. Additionally, you can send your latest music discovery as a Snap to your contacts, allowing them to stream simultaneously.

This feature not only increases engagement for both users and their friends as they are constantly being updated with the latest tracks, but also help artists promote their music, thereby increasing awareness. This creates a new avenue for music entertainment companies to venture into uterlising Snapchat as a medium for music marketing.

Key tip: To access your previously Shazam tracks, you can simply retrieve it from your Settings screen and find it in the Shazam tab.

5. Feet tracking lenses

Australians generally prefer to purchase footwear in-stores due to concerns surrounding size and fitting. However, with retailers forced to close physical stores, the pandemic played a pivotal role in advocating greater public awareness and acceptance towards online footwear shopping.

Being the AR leader of applications, Snapchat grabbed onto this golden opportunity by partnering with Wannaby to develop lens-enhanced ‘shoefies’, where creators can create spectacular digitalised versions of shoes and share it on Snapchat. To use this feature, users need to position their camera angle and scan their feet. Thereafter, they can select their preferred shoe designs ranging from a wide variety of brands like Nike, Adidas, Dior and Gucci. This simple yet efficient and effective way of engagement enables users to try and purchase footwear digitally regardless of where they are at.

In mid 2020, Gucci sponsored the first luxury virtual shoe try-on on Snapchat, which garnered much positive reviews as shoppers were able to enjoy the in-store ambience and get to digitally try on the shoes just by scanning their feet and selecting the Gucci lens.

Snapchat Gucci estore

With the advanced use of AR, this feature leads Snapchat a step closer to achieving its ultimate goal of improving users’ confidence of shopping online. This not only helps them make informed decisions, but also increases users’ satisfaction towards the application. Concurrently, it also attracts retailers’ interest, thereby increasing its advertising revenue.

Key tip: By continuously rotating your feet in different angles, you can get a 360 degree look of how the shoe looks on you.

What’s in it for users?

Snapchat’s continuous efforts in developing novel and innovative ways to introduce new and advanced features like those above increases its user engagement and interaction. By recognising the dominant role AR plays in meeting users’ ever-changing needs, wants and demands for entertainment, shopping and lifestyle, Snapchat aims to continuously enrich user experience, bringing the impossible to them. Ultimately, leading users to perceive Snapchat as the application they cannot live without.

So, what are you waiting for? Give these features a try now!

Constance Koo
Constance Koo

Constance Koo is a third-year Commerce student, majoring in Marketing and Finance at the University of Melbourne. She enjoys travelling and gaining insights on different practices and cultures around the world. During her studies, Constance has undertaken various pro-bono consulting projects which integrates her interest in technology, sustainability, entrepreneurship, marketing and finance.

If you'd like to connect and learn more about her work, you can find her on LinkedIn