Is Snapchat the new giant in social media advertising?

When Snapchat was first launched in 2011, no one expected an app that simply allows you to send photos that do not store on your phone, would be much of a success. Five years later, Snapchat boasts a user base of 150 million users. Of course, much has changed about the app content. Most noticeably, Snapchat has found diverse and unique ways to include advertising on its app.

Advertisers are quickly realizing the potential Snapchat has for reaching their audiences however Snapchat is still heavily competing with more mature platforms like Facebook or Instagram for brands’ advertising budgets. However, according to Ad Age, Snapchat has been investing a lot of time and money towards building new technology “that make it more efficient to serve ads, target them and measure their impact.” In fact, Snapchat will collect $367 million in ad revenue in 2016 and is predicted to reach $1 billion by 2018.

Snapchat has been making massive strides in its advertising department. Adweek recently released an article stating Snapchat has unveiled a new API (application programming interface) that will make it easier for marketers to buy ads on the platform, since they will now be sold through third parties. They have even decided to divide their partnerships with other companies into three functions: ad partners, creative partners, and measurement partners.

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So, what are the different ways one can advertise on Snapchat? Mediakix lays it out for us in different groups of possibilities: the platform options, and the influencer takeover options. I will only talk about the ones controlled by Snapchat, because the influencer takeover is relatively out of the control of the marketers.

Snap ads – Snap ads are skippable 10 second ads that are displayed between Snapchat Stories. These are useful because you can swipe up to see more information about the product or it can take you to the business’ website.

Geofilters – These are geographically determined filters that display graphics and/or text over your photo. This is a great way to engage with your audience and an easy way to promote an event because people love the creative designs. Below is a geofilter Burger King launched to introduce their new menu item.


Lenses – Lenses employ facial recognition and augmented reality in order to change the user’s appearance or create a fictional environment around them. Although this is the most expensive way to advertise on Snapchat, it is also the most popular feature. Take the dog filter that has quickly become a very popular addition to the photos of celebrities and other people all over the world.

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Channels – Snapchat has two types of channels: Discover and Live. The Discover channels are now arranged in a ‘newsstand‘ that draws readers in by displaying the content on the front page, as a magazine would. This option is only open to a few publishers and media brands and they curate content that is published every day. The Live channels are compilations of user-generated content from events all over the world. For example, today  on October 2nd, 2016, Snapchat is featuring a Live channel called “Ballet,” that includes videos of ballerinas in their day-to-day activities.

For more information on how to advertise on Snapchat, visit the infographic made by Mediakix.


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