Snapchat, the social media network popular among teens and very young adults, has decided to buy over Bitstrips in a deal worth around $100 million. This is according to an exclusive report by Fortune. The deal is not a straight cash swap. It is a combination of cash and stock options.
If you’ve never heard of Bitstrips, you are not alone. In the digital world of apps on smartphones, it is not in the same ball park as the Instagrams, Twitters or even its new owners Snapchat. But Bitstrips has being around for a while, doing amazing things with emojis. It was founded in 2007 to help users of the app create characters that can be used to make a sort of digital comic personalized to your taste.
Seven years later in 2014, the company re-branded itself. This time, it focused on helping users create life-like emojis that look like the users who created them. These cartoon digital version of the user, known as bitmojis, can be used in anyway on a smartphone. For instance they can be arranged in various poses, put in various environments and have any number of accessories added to them. Interestingly too, one can use a bitmoji as the picture sending messages in chat apps.
One pertinent question is, what added value would Bitstrips bring to Snapchat? Apparently, Bitstrips users have recently being enjoying a Snapchat-like feature on the app. This feature enables Bitstrips users to paste the bitmojis on images that are on their smartphones. This is similar to a Snapchat’s filter that users of Snapchat app enjoy playing around with. In Snapchat users can place their pictures on popular landmarks they are close to, or to put it another way, they can place the landmarks on their photos. For instance, if a Snapchat user is close to the famous Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos, they could easily place their image there. Announcing to their friends they are at the famous site.
But these are just speculation because there is no official word from Snapchat about what they intend to do with Bitstrips. One thought is that Bitstrips could be a massive help in making Snapchat work better with smartphones keyboard.
Snapchat has come a long way since it rebuffed a take over bid worth about $3 billion three years ago From Facebook. Spending that amount of money on a company that makes emojis is Snapchat’s own way of announcing to the world it is here to stay. And compete with the big boys in the instant messaging niche. This acquisition of Snapchat could be a respond to Facebook’s acquisition of Masquerade, a move made to attract younger users, Snapchat’s main demographic profile, to Facebook, . Therefore to stay ahead in the game, Snapchat has to keep updating and revamping Snapchat. One way of doing that is to buy smaller and interesting firms. But it is debatable if a 100 million dollars for Bitstrips is money well spent.
photo credits: google.com; socialnewsdaily.com