On July 18 2021, a Facebook user shared a status update about a Snapchat plant identifier, also claiming that the function would work the same way in determining a dog’s breed:
If you focus your Snapchat camera on ANY plant & hold the screen it will tell you EXACTLY what that plant is.. DOPE. THE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THIS‼️🌳☘️🌵🌿🪴 (or maybe everyone already knew this & I’m just late & easily amused 🤔) PS: WORKS ON DOG BREEDS ALSO ‼️🤯
That post was shared more than 25,000 times in 48 hours, suggesting that if Snapchat included a Snapchat plant identifier feature (or a dog breed one), few users of social media were aware it did. Commenters tagged friends, often stating the claim was news to them, worked as described, or did not work:
“STOP BECAUSE THIS WORKS OMGGG😂😩 how did I never know this!!”
“please try this with the dogs [and] tell me if it works!!”
“bro this shit don’t work for nothin😂🤣 I’m disappointed lol”
“it only got one right and it was my spider plant. All other 21 it said something stupid and not even close🤣”
“that’s so cool! I never knew this, I have like 4 apps for this that I know aren’t accurate lol”
“this actually worked on maple lol”
Google Trends indicated that in the month prior to July 20 2021, no searches registered for “Snapchat plant identifier.” Narrowing the search to a seven-day range showed nascent activity, but the period between July 19 and July 20 2021 demonstrated widespread searching for the phrase.
A June 2020 press release from a company called PlantSnap announced a partnership between Snapchat and PlantSnap:
PlantSnap, the world’s most technologically advanced, comprehensive and accurate plant identification and social media app, was announced today as a new partner for Snapchat’s Scan platform, which delivers helpful, delightful, and relevant experiences through Snapchat’s camera. Now Snapchat users can identify over 600,000 plants right from the Snapchat Camera.
PlantSnap’s machine learning algorithm will then analyze and recognize the plant and instantly display the name of the plant on the screen. This will begin rolling out [on June 11 2020].
Dog breeds were not mentioned, which is to be expected in the broader context of the announcement. That same day (June 11 2020) social media news site Mashable published “Now you can identify plants and pooches right in Snapchat,” reporting a separate partnership with a dog-centric app and Snapchat’s Snap Inc.:
Snap announced new partnerships on [June 11 2020] with the apps Dog Scanner and PlantSnap that will allow Snapchat users to do just that. Snapchatters can identify dogs or plants they encounter in the real world by scanning them right in Snapchat.
When you press and hold on the camera screen in Snapchat, lenses that are relevant to what the camera is pointing at are unlocked. For example, if I point and hold the camera on my dog right now, lenses that put sunglasses or heart eyes specifically formatted for the shape face of a dog appear.
Now, if you point the camera at a particularly Good Boy you see, you can access a lens that tells you what breed the dog is, using the data and A.I. of Dog Scanner, which recognizes nearly 400 dog breeds (my dog would get 100 percent purebred mutt). And if you focus your lens on a tree, bush or bud that catches your eye, you’ll be able to identify 90 percent of known plants and trees with the PlantSnap integration.
Mashable noted that PlantSnap could identify “90 percent of known plants and trees,” while Dog Scanner claimed to recognize “nearly 400 dog breeds.”
A viral Facebook post asserted a Snapchat plant identifier enabled users to use the app to determine the nature of plants and trees, adding that similar functionality existed to identify “dog breeds.” In June 2021, PlantSnap announced a partnership with Snapchat, and contemporaneous social media news articles explained that Snapchat partnered with standalone apps PlantSnap and Dog Scanner. The integrations with Snapchat are real, but how useful they might be in practice is up for debate.