Snapchat is ready to make the big bucks that could let it go public thanks to a slew of important updates to its ads offering. They’ll give advertisers the spotlight, buying flexibility, return on investment opportunities and measurement to throw huge budgets at Snapchat’s 150 million daily users.
And since the sponsors are helping people create interesting content that entertains their friends, there’s a vivid sense of gratitude towards the brand that’s the polar opposite to how people typically feel after being forced to sit through an ad.
Snapchat’s big ads announcements
- Snap Ads Between Stories – There will now be ads occasionally inserted when you auto-advance at the end of one person’s Stories to the next person’s, but they won’t interrupt the narrative of any one user’s Story and won’t be shown every tine you auto-advance.
- Expandable “Snap Ads” – Users can now swipe up on Snapchat’s ads to install a promoted app, watch a long-form video, visit a mobile website or view an Instant Article-style article formatted specifically for Snapchat.
- Ads API – Advertisers can now use programmatic interfaces to efficiently buy huge campaigns instead of having the manually strike deals with Snapchat.
- All Ads Reviewed – Despite the influx of new ways and formats to buy, Snapchat plans to protect its user experience by reviewing all ads for quality before they run and managing ad load so as not to overwhelm users with too much marketing.
- Snapchat Partners For Ads – Snapchat will connect advertisers with a directory of ad tech developers building custom ad buying and management tools to help businesses spend more effectively using Snapchat’s few targeting options: age, gender, location, device/OS, carrier, and content affinity. Ad tech partners include 4C, Adaptly, Amobee, Brand Networks, SocialCode, TubeMogul, Unified, and VaynerMedia.
- Snapchat Partners For Creative – Advertisers who don’t know how to build great custom Snapchat ads will be pointed to a directory of vetted creative agenciesthey can pay to help them produce eye-catching Snap ads. Creative Partners include Allay Everyday, Big Spaceship, Contented, Matte-Finish, Media Monks, Moment Studio, R29 Brand Lab, Studio Number One, Stun Creative, The 88, The Mill, Snapchat’s own creative agency Truffle Pig.
- Snapchat Ad Measurement – Snapchat has slowly built a set of measurement partnerships into a robust offering, including Moat, Nielsen mobile Digital Ad Ratings and Google DoubleClick that will assist advertisers with figuring out which ads are working and worth spending more on.
- Stats – Snapchat says the engagement rate on its new suite is 5x higher than the average click-through rate on other social platforms. This metric builds on its recent MediaSciencestudies on visual attention showing Snap ads get 2x as much as Facebook ads, 1.5x as Instagram ads and 1.3x as YouTube ads, as well as cause 2x more lift to purchase intent than these competitors.
Sponsored Creation Tools
Together, these announcements turn Snapchat from a thriving social network experimenting with monetization into an advertising powerhouse. But rather than just joining the pack of big league ad platforms, Snapchat has leapfrogged them in marketing innovation.
Snapchat is pioneering what I call “Sponsored Creation Tools,” which look like the next big thing in advertising. People have grown numb to traditional banner ads, and have even learned to skim past native ads built into the feeds of apps like Facebook. Meanwhile, ad blockers weed out a lot of traditional marketing.
But Snapchat’s sponsored creation tools — facial-recognition animated selfie lenses and geofilters — employ you to create ads that you then show to friends. Whether it’s turning your face into a Taco Bell taco or simply layering the name of the business you’re visiting over your photo taken there, the ads slip by people’s defenses.