Snapchat snaps up Facebook’s machine learning ‘star’ Hussein Mehanna

Posted: 17 May 2017 | By Darcie Thompson-Fields

Snap Inc, the parent company of digital camera apps ‘Snapchat’ and ‘Spectacles’, has appointed Facebook’s director of engineering Hussein Mehanna.

The appointment, see’s Mehanna, who spent five-years with the social network firm, and six-years with Microsoft, takes up the new role of, director of engineering.

Snap Inc has invested heavily in AI and ML in recent years, helping to drive user numbers to above 150 million.

It is considered a major rival to Facebook in the camera space,  introducing a number of comparable features to Snapchat on its Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp platforms. Snapchat also recently launched an augmented reality feature to its video and image offering. This is in addition Snapchat Lenses, which uses image recognition technology to digitally superimposed on the users face.

This has provided the firm with substantial ad revenue opportunities. The company has previously signed deals which allows its ‘Snapchatters. previously being able to turn their heads into a taco, by using the Taco Bell’s Snapchat  filter. A similar deal was also agreed with Budweiser allowing people to add white beards and a red hat to resemble Uncle Sam, whilst users have also been able to resemble their favourite X-Men characters.

The firm, which does not charge for its app, achieved revenues of around $400 million last year.




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