Snapchat Unveils New Advertising Updates

Estimated Reading Time 6 minutes

At the beginning of the year I wrote a blog about the potential that Snapchat and their then ad platform had and how brands would be able to utilise this as part of their marketing strategy, I thought it would be a long time before it would be worth revisiting; I was wrong.

I previously spoke about the staggering user base they already had; over 100 million daily active users, generating 5+ billion videos a day. In the first half of 2016 alone, Snapchat is reported to be one of the most downloaded apps across the pond in the US with 54 million downloads, an eMarketer forecast suggests that the user base will grow another 27.2% through the rest of the year and continue to grow by another 13.6% in 2017. There’s no doubt that these figures are staggering and show that it’s popularity is constantly on the rise, but why would a rise in users cause a stir in digital marketing, and why would that warrant me writing this blog right now?

Snapchat have announced a plethora of updates to its advertising arsenal and are also unveiling a new API

There are a number of new ad formats being made available to marketers, including expandable snap ads, ads between stories,  and new sponsored creation tools for geofilters and selfie lenses. As well as this there are also new partnerships that have been built to give marketers some insight into the metrics of the various ad formats, this might not be the ideal analytics type tool that people require but you can only imagine that they are building towards something of that nature.

The release of the new API will streamline the process of implementing a Snapchat marketing campaign for any digital marketer, relieving the nuisance of having to individually negotiate a deal with Snapchat directly for ads; instead allowing the marketer to bulk buy ads programmatically from a third party. The third parties are to be divided into two types of collaborators, creative partners, and ad partners. Ad partners will be developing software for advertisers that will enable buying campaigns, as well as the ability to analyse and optimise them, creative partners on the other hand will be a group of companies that are experts in the field of social content and content marketing. The API is to be sold in an automated, auction-like system allowing an even share of ad space between brands.

It doesn’t stop there though…

Anything written above this paragraph could have been written at anytime within the last six weeks, it has only been in the last week that there has been another announcement that Snapchat is to have a complete overhaul of how they will now target users. For the first time, the company have revealed that advertisers will be rolling out behavioural targeting across the app.

What is currently known is that at least to begin with is that Snapchat CEO and founder Evan Spiegel wants the targeting to start out broad, as he has in the past described certain behavioural targeting strategies as “creepy”, and believes being too precise with targeting will put users off and make them uncomfortable. The targeting will be based on in-app behaviour and not from any other app across your phone, again, this could change. With all the new partners coming on board, as well as the teething period the company are likely going to face with all these new updates, things could change very quickly. When taking into account that Snapchat have told investors to “expect revenue of over $1 billion in 2017”  Mr Spiegel could very will form a different opinion of more accurate targeting if more money were to be generated from it.

Nick Blane
Nick is a recent graduate of Music and Live Events Management from Bucks New University in High Wycombe. Though his business background centred within the music industry, his exposure and involvement in marketing and social media engagement for brands, helped him take a more holistic approach and apply his connection of digital with sociology along with his entrepreneurial skills.