Snapchat dominates AR. Period.

Monday, January 6, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

Snapchat: Going for best "Cameo" in a leading role

Last Week’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
28,635 (-0.03%)
S&P 500
3,235 (-0.15%)
9,021 (+0.16%)
$7,365 (+0.57%)
10-Yr US Treasury

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Snack more. It's our simple resolution for the decade — here's how you can too:

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  • Add some flavor to your brutal commute with our 15 minute Snacks Daily podcast on Apple or Spotify (spoiler: today's was The Best One Yet).

FYI, stock dipped in the 1st week of 2020 because conflict between the US and Iran could disrupt oil markets — and when you mess with oil, you mess with business.

1. Snapchat's New Year's Resolution: (A)ugment your (R)eality with fun shenanigans

Cat videos would be better... if your face replaced the feline's. That's the earth-shattering revelation behind "Cameos," Snapchat's new feature that superimposes your selfie in a short video. It's the type of viral animation that's core to Snapchat's DNA, so Snap acquired the startup behind Cameos, AI Factory, for a reported $166M last week.

  • Location: Uncreatively-named AI Factory is based in Ukraine, with an office in San Francisco to convince those who judge books by their covers.
  • Not his first exit: Its founder is Victor Shaburov — who already sold a previous startup to Snap in 2015 (he's the tech artist behind virtual rainbow vomiting).
  • Not dangerous (yet): Making a video of one person appear as another is the definition of "Deepfake" (it's a freaky futuristic technology that could potentially cause mahyem on what you think is true). But we tried Snap's Cameos — they're shallowfakes at best.

Cameo > Lenses > Bitmoji... In a leaked 2018 letter to Snappers, CEO Evan Spiegal said 27 times that Snapchat should be "the fastest way to communicate." To accomplish that, text on Snapchat is laughable. Pictures are ok. Videos are better. So Bitmoji (also acquired by Snap), Lenses, and Cameos separate Snap from Instagram, iMessage, and Twitter ('til Insta steals the idea).


Snap is the leader in Augmented Reality. Period... Tech leaders believe AR will replace smartphones, just like smartphones replaced many PCs. Facebook, Apple, and Google are all building headsets and glasses so they don't miss it. Before you strap a computer to your face, Snap's way ahead:

  • Those tech giants haven't offered mainstream products yet — and Facebook's chief scientist thinks it'll be 5-10 years before they do.
  • Snap has. Its filters, lenses, and Spectacles take your real world, then augment it with humanity-improving dancing hotdogs.

Can we please talk about Apple's record high?... The stock doubled to become 2019's best performer in the Dow. Now Apple's got a new 2020 focus: Make HomeKit happen. That's the orange house-shaped, pre-downloaded app in your "rando Apple apps" folder — it connects your iPhone with your home (smart lights, smart thermostat, etc). At this week's Consumer Electronics Show, Apple is sharing its plans for HomeKit to make money off iPhone nation.

FIFA 2019. Pokemon. Call of Duty... All lost to Fortnite. The 3-year-old game hauled in $1.8B last year to keep its crown as Earth's most lucrative video game (FYI, that's down 25% from 2018). Credit its popularity as a virtual hangout place, and add in some seasonal changes for keeping the game fresh. Fortnite's parent company, Epic Games, isn't publicly-traded — but its biggest investor is China's game-glomerate Tencent, whose shares trade publicly.


Ever wanted to charge Uber surge pricing?... That's kinda what California is doing. The AB5 "gig law" would treat drivers like actual employees, not independent contractors — that could raise the ride-hailer's costs by 30%. So Uber and Postmates sued California because they feel singled-out as an industry (their words: AB5 is "irrational and unconstitutional"). The law took effect on January 1st, so Uber's pulling an Uber and won't comply while it fights.

Pump anxiety... Airlines are feeling it. Fresh after the US killed Iran's top general, oil prices immediately jumped 4% to $68.60 (Middle East oil trade is a fragile thing). US airline stocks immediately fell, led down by American Airlines — that fuel makes up about 24% of their total costs. Good thing the growing US economy just landed airlines' their 10th-straight profitable year.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Sold: How 2019 was the year of the wireless headphone
  • Work: Resumé trend of 2020: Add your "high scores"
  • Venture: 10 (little) tweaks that'll make big-time changes to your pitch deck (keep size 12 font in your college essays)
  • List: 9 apps to help you be more organized in 2020
  • Crypto: The IRS' new 2019 tax form is out and they want to know about your crypto moves
Snacks Daily Podcast

Our 1st potential IPO of 2020: One Medical filed paperwork to go public while you were nursing that NYE hangover.

  • 81% of consumers are dissatisfied by their healthcare situation
  • So One Medical is trying to create a brand in an industry that ignores brands

Our 15 minute Snack Daily pod signed up for an appointment.

This Week
  • Monday: Congress returns from holiday break
  • Tuesday: The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicks off in Las Vegas
  • Wednesday: Earnings from Bed Bath & Beyond, Walgreens, RPM
  • Thursday: Earnings from WD-40, KB Home
  • Friday: The official government Jobs Report for December

Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Apple

ID: 1049181

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