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Snapchat Take Steps to become Prominent Player in the Drone Industry


Snapchat's parent company looks set to take to the skies, judging by new reports that they've acquired Ctrl Me Robotics. The LA-based drone manufacturers were on the way out when Snap swooped in with a deal that cost them less than one million dollars. It's an important move for a firm whose greatest success derives from an app focused on photographic content.

The deal in question is more of an acquihire, with Ctrl Me founder Simon Saito Nielsen reported to have been added to Snap's payroll, alongside the procurement of some company assets and equipment. While Ctrl Me have never actually manufactured their own drones, instead acting as a specialised retailer that customised other company's products and software, their union with Snap could still mean big things for the social media giant. Having Nielsen's experience and knowledge at their disposal would give them the opportunity to develop their own drone, or to design software and attachments for others to use. Either way, it would get their foot in the door.

Although Snap have yet to comment on these new reports, their acquisition of Ctrl Me doesn't come as a surprise. Their previous interest in now-defunct Lily Robotics last year shows that their interest in this branch of hardware is genuine. With drone photography already a popular presence on social media, they'd be wise to get involved with it given their branding as a "camera company".

This wouldn't be the first time that Snap moved into the production of hardware. Last year, they announced their new Spectacles, a pair of smartglasses that allow wearers to film videos and upload them to Snapchat. The venture wasn't hugely successful and failed to generate much in the way of revenue, leaving them back at square one with their hardware manufacturing.

The increasing popularity of drones certainly gives more hope to Snap's chances of success with this project, especially because Snapchat can't always be relied on to generate a consistent profit. Their advertising presence is constantly in competition against bigger companies like Facebook and Google, meaning a second source of revenue would prove beneficial.

Of course, they may have some work to do when it comes to attracting sales to their future endeavours. The main demographic for their mobile app is millenials, whereas the average drone customer is generally found in an older age bracket. They would have an opportunity to bridge the gap between the two, but while Snapchat excels in maintaining a younger clientele thanks to it's convenience and ease of use, drones are designed more for precision photography than on-the-go selfies.

Where Snap hopes to find its unique selling point by acquiring access to drones is yet to be seen, but given the continued success of Snapchat, the potential available to them is far-reaching. In a few years time, they might have reinvented what it means to take a #selfie.



James is a passionate scriptwriter and reluctant poet with a talent for the dystopian. When he’s not staying up late watching the Simpsons he’s beating the world at Mario Kart, always with a glass of wine in hand. You can expect to find his ramblings about music and life at @Songbird_James


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Snapchat Take Steps to become Prominent Player in the Drone Industry Reviewed by James Darvill on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 Rating: 5

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