As predicted, restaurant reservations are invading social media; they’ve arrived on Snapchat. The service recently announced a feature called context cards, which is exactly what it sounds like: a card attached to an image on Snapchat that provides additional context.
In this case, context also includes third-party services, like restaurant reservations via OpenTable and Resy, or car booking via Uber. Context cards can be tied to any snap that is tagged with a location, so someone who is looking at a photo of, say, an especially photogenic pizza on Snapchat can immediately book a table to eat there.
As mentioned in our recent take on the current reservations scene, when it comes to searching and booking, reservations networks will start to have less relevance over time as search and social become entry points to discovery. This also underscores the importance and priority of social discovery when it comes to restaurants. (It also encourages photos of food, which, love them or hate them, have become vitally important marketing tools, dubbed this generation’s postcard by Danny Meyer onstage at Skift Global Forum this year.)
The addition of these cards to content in Snapchat is a big deal, especially for Snap, the company. Now, instead of pure entertainment, users can perform an action directly within the app — commerce gold, at least in theory.
Businesses will need to wait and see whether or not this has an impact on bookings and, if so, if they are discovering new patrons or the same ones via a different service. Snapchat is known for the lack of insight it gives to partners about user habits on the site, so it will be interesting to see how mobile habits turn into foot traffic.
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