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W hat’s Next For AR, Story Growth and Super Hearts

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Nick Cotton Jun 21, 2017

Here’s the news we’re talking about around the Zbra Studios water cooler. We’ve provided key bullet points from each article for the speed readers out there. For those looking to dig in, click on the links for the full story.

Why Facebook, Google, And Snap Love AR—And What’s Coming Next
By DAN TYNAN From Fast Company

“After years of dormancy, the hype around AR is ratcheting back up. Beyond Facebook’s augmented ambitions (which include, down the road, a wearable device), there’s Google’s four-year-old Glass, Microsoft’s HoloLens, and the mysterious, well-funded Magic Leap—along with a rumored device from Apple.”

“For the better part of a decade, developers have been promising to use smartphone cameras to enhance our perspective on the world. In 2009, Yelp introduced its Monocle feature, annotating users’ camera lenses with ratings for local businesses; a spate of similar apps followed, but none gained any significant traction.”

“In the meantime, AR is continuing to pop up in everyday devices. If your car’s rear-facing cam shows you a squiggly red line as you’re about to back into a tree, you’re using AR. Smart mirrors are being rolled out at Sephora stores, to enable virtual makeup testing, and at Neiman Marcus, to let shoppers change the color of their outfits or try on prescription glasses.”

Instagram Stories is still growing quickly and now has 250 million users
By KURT WAGNER From Recode

“The company reported Tuesday that Stories, the feature that lets users share videos and posts that disappear after 24 hours, is now used by 250 million people every day. That means Stories added 50 million new users in two months, one month faster than its jump from 150 million to 200 million users.”

“Facebook loves to tout these big user growth milestones, but the significance here is that Instagram’s version of Stories appears to be growing faster than it was at the beginning of the year. (Instagram reports these numbers whenever it wants, though, so it’s tough to say for sure.)”

Twitter adds in-app purchases with new Super Hearts for Periscope streams
By Casey Newton From The Verge

“Broadcasters on Twitter’s live-streaming app Periscope can now make money directly through the service. The company today is introducing Super Hearts, a set of virtual goods that users can send to their favorite broadcasters as a show of support.”

“Starting today, anyone will be able to buy and send Super Hearts during live streams. (They are disabled for replays.) To buy them, you need Periscope coins — a new virtual currency that is rolling out in the app today. Coins range in price from $0.99 for 1,050 to 132,650 for $99.99.”

“For broadcasters, any Super Hearts sent their way are stored on their profile as … stars. (Periscope said it needed to distinguish between “purchased currency” and “earned currency,”

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