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Snapchat Preparing Third-Party Developer Tools Dubbed “SnapKit”

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Social messaging giant Snap is gearing up to debut tools for third-party Snapchat developers including a login button and camera features.

According to TechCrunch, Snapchat is preparing the launch of its first complete developer platform under the tentative name of “SnapKit.” The move would be a significant departure for the company, which up until now has been resistant to letting third-party developers onto its platform.

“The platform could breathe new life into plateauing Snapchat by colonizing the mobile app ecosystem with its login buttons and content,” reads the report. “Facebook used a similar strategy to become a ubiquitous utility with tentacles touching everyone’s business. But teens, long skeptical of Facebook and unsettled by the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, could look to Snapchat for a privacy-safe way to log in to other apps without creating a new username and password.”

There a few different aspects of this so-called SnapKit developer platform, including a social login, much like Facebook’s “login with Facebook” feature now available on so many services. This login feature would also incorporate a user’s Bitmoji avatar.

Additionally, Snap is also working on tools that would allow third-party developers to use the app’s camera and AR features. If app developers can in the future rely on Snap’s AR camera instead of having to build their own, it would certainly save them a lot of time, as opposed to going through developer toolkits offered by Facebook or Apple, among others.

Snap has long been reluctant to open itself up to outside apps, but it’s choosing an interesting time to do so — fresh on the heels of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, which forced the social media giant to pull back on its platform. Snap’s app, however, doesn’t collect as much user data as other social apps, so its tools will likely be used a bit differently.

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