Snapchat Context Cards & Oculus Go: Do Not Read Until Monday

Spend your weekend dreaming up your best Hallow-meme costume, and Do Not Read Until Monday.

Oculus Emerged: Zuckerberg Debuts New Devices

Following a quickly derided virtual reality tour to raise awareness about Facebook’s Spaces Puerto Rico, Facebook CEO and Oculus owner Mark Zuckerberg helped usher in the latter company’s new VR devices.

Most importantly, the Oculus Go headset effectively ‘cuts the cord’ for high quality VR: the device does not require a connection to a computer or phone to operate. It’s also priced at a comparatively cheap $199. The more powerful Oculus Rift, bundled with Touch controls, will be $399 permanently, a hefty (~$400) discount to its initial price.

It also announced options for business, home and – perhaps most interestingly – Facebook integration. Facebook will soon have “Venues” where groups of people (and/or their avatars) can watch concerts and sports together. It will also be adding games for friends to play in Spaces. However, the sneakiest new feature will be 3D posts in Facebook’s News Feed. The posts will allow some functionality similar to VR, likely driving interest in the technology to a more general public. 

This Week In Snapchat vs. The World: Context is King

A major move in its maps strategy, Snapchat this week unveiled a new feature for locations, giving users the ability to view relevant content via Context Cards. A video introducing Context Cards showed the option to book a Lyft or Uber to a destination, read reviews or make reservations. The feature offers not only a reason for deeper user engagement on the platform, but also for businesses – especially those with physical locations – to pay more attention to Snapchat as a marketing channel.

Context Cards are just the sort of innovation Snapchat needs right now, and from news it may be investing in a new R&D facility in Salt Lake City, more may be on the way soon. And speaking of innovations, its ARt project with Jeff Koons has already been defaced, in an effort to further conversation over who owns augmented reality space.

The Verdict: This is like week 6 of a win streak, but I’m starting to get nervous.

Odds + The End

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