Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Snipp Interactive introduces new "Face-in-the-Hole" technology

Snipp Interactive (CVE:SPN), a mobile marketing services provider, unveiled Tuesday a beta trial of its new photo sharing technology called Face-in-the-Hole.

The company said the technology will allow marketers to use photo sharing by mobile phone users to build their brands, adding to Snipp’s existing marketing tools that are in use by organizations including Time Inc., ESPN and Conde Nast.

Snipp CEO Erik Hallstrom says the new photo sharing solution further demonstrates the differentiation of the company’s offering and the flexibility of Snipp’s technology.

“We have a solution that monetizes social media,” says Hallstrom.

“It works seamlessly within our Snipp technology to enable our clients to create even stronger and socially engaging customer interactions across a variety of different touch-points.”

The company feels that the “fun to use” technology will also appeal to the younger generation – a key demographic in the smartphone market.
Ritesh Bhavnani, Snipp founder and director, says Face-in-the-Hole is entirely different from other photo sharing programs out there.

“The focus of Face-in-the-Hole is in creating interactive fun experiences for users using pictures. Using facial recognition and cloud-based image processing we can create a variety of different photo experiences – for example, like taking someone's face and putting it on a different background.

“We can also distort faces to create experiences similar to what you would see in a funhouse hall of mirrors and can create a host of other interactive experiences as well.”

The key differentiating characteristics of Face-in-the-Hole is that the technology is “completely app-free” and works on every phone in the US.

Bhavnani says all one needs is a phone with a camera and MMS messaging capabilities – which accounts for about 99 per cent of the total US phone market.  Internationally and in Canada the functionality is available by email.
With Face-in-the-Hole, all the facial recognition, image processing and positioning is done completely automatically, and the technology is viral so users can share the results of their Face-in-the-Hole not just on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter, but also by sending it by SMS.
Snipp noted that importantly, mobile photo sharing is a growing phenomenon. Applications such as Instagram (now owned by Facebook), Lightbox, Picplz, Scan and Dailybooth are all widely used.

The company said its Face-in-the-Hole technology offers marketers “increased control of the customer experience” and dispenses with the need to download a mobile application, allowing it to work with “virtually any contemporary phone”.
“It works on all phones – not just smartphones,” says  Bhavnani. “Current smartphone penetration in the US is about 55 per cent - so our Face-in-the-Hole works just as well for the other 45 per cent too.”
As the technology does not  require a download to use, a user need only take a photo and send it by MMS to 76477 (in the US only) or by email to face@snipp.com (worldwide).
Bhavnani says the Face-in-the-Hole  beta is meant to demonstrate Snipp’s capabilities and that such a service can be utilized by brands in two very specific ways, including as a fun app targeted at teenagers and young adults.
“For brands looking at targeting those markets, creating fun interactive and viral applications can serve to strengthen their brand,” he notes, adding, “For example, you could have a Face-in-the-Hole for baseball, where you take a photo of your face and we put you in a Yankees uniform, or atop a Marvel superhero or as a Disney character, etc.”
For brands that wish to allow users to visualize what they could look like in their products, Bhavnani says brands can use this technology to visualize what they would look like when using that particular product.
In terms of the official launch, Bhavnani says Snipp is currently in discussions with multiple brands who are interested in utilizing the technology for their upcoming campaigns. The service itself is fully functional.
Snipp Interactive provides print publishers, advertising agencies and corporate/consumer brands with a full suite of mobile marketing services in North America, and generates revenue by designing, constructing, implementing and managing these mobile marketing services for its customers.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C. and established in 2007, the company has provided its services to several Fortune 500 companies and other major brands, advertising agencies and publishers, including Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), ESPN, Time Inc, Ford (NYSE:F), Nike (NYSE:NKE), Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN) and Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB).
Snipp's “Mobilize Me” platform supports many input mechanisms for mobilizing marketing campaigns for companies, including text message, QR codes, Microsoft tags and Snapp tags.
The platform delivers a number of content experiences to customers as part of sales tactics, including text messages, mobile web pages to collect data, emails, mobile videos, audio, sweepstakes, coupons, and ringtones, among others.
In other news, Snipp was recently featured in Cantech Letter - an online magazine focusing on Canadian listed technology stocks.
In the article, the issue of advertising and marketing with social media and long term financial viability are discussed, with Snipp noting that it has the solution to generating revenue while not negatively affecting user experience.
The company noted in the report that it offers an end-to-end mobile solution that can be used around the world in many industries that goes beyond marketing and actually stimulates demand for its service.
To read more, visit http://www.cantechletter.com/2012/07/can-snipp-solve-the-Facebook-conundrum/

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