Snapchat has had a fascinating ride to the top of the social media world. They started out very simply, as an image sharing platform. You could send a “snap” to one of your friends, and the image would only be available to view for 10 seconds or less, then it would be gone forever. Since their launch in 2011, we have seen many features come and go. Snapchat’s controversial “Best Friends”, where your friends could see your top three most “snapped” friends, which may have caused some relationship problems…We saw the introduction of “stories” where a user could document their night out through photos and videos that all of their friends can see for 24 hours. The list goes on from snap streaks to funky filters, but one thing was inevitable…advertisements
Snapchat started making ad space available with the unveiling of the Discover tab, launched in January 2015. This was their first real attempt to monetize their social platform, and it came without any huge fuss. The Discover tab was an option users viewed if they were bored enough. Users could swipe past their friend’s stories to the next tab, find editorial videos, news, and other engaging content uploaded by big brand names and media outlets. The featured media outlets include People magazine, MTV and Buzzfeed, to name a few. Let’s make clear that Snapchat users always had the option to view these ads, they were on their separate tab.
What’s Coming Next
Let’s fast forward 18 months. Just a month ago, June 2016, Snapchat has released a new product available for advertisers. They now offer the option of inserting ads in between your friend’s stories. So you’re watching your buddy Joe’s night out in Providence, and before Snapchat transitions to the next one of your friend’s stories, you’re hit with a full on Abercrombie & Fitch video ad. So much for remaining unobtrusive…
Also for the first time, Snapchat Ads will be sold by third parties. There are two kinds of Snapchat collaborators: Ad Partners and Creative Partners. Ad Partners will develop software for Snapchat advertisers. This will enable buying, optimizing and analyzing of campaigns. Some Ad Partners will include 4C, Amobee and VaynerMedia. On the other hand, Creative Partners will represent companies with knowledge of social content and experience with Snapchat’s vertical video format, 3V. The company plans to rebrand in the upcoming months. Some examples of Creative Partners are Unit9, VaynerMedia and The 88. VaynerMedia is currently the only company on both Ad Partners and Creative Partners.
3V Ads will now show up full screen and will be vertical videos that users can choose to view. Other video Ads will show up between friend’s stories, however you can choose to skip them by simply tapping on the screen when it shows up. The Ads won’t show up often. The idea of this is that the less Ads you’ll see, the chance of you to retain them is higher.
It’s an extremely new approach at how advertising is done on this unique social media platform, but it’ll be interesting to see how this works out. This could certainly be fun and exciting tool for local businesses as this feature progresses. Instead of seeing a Food Network taco recipe, we could see an event at Bowen’s Wharf in Newport, Rhode Island. Wouldn’t that be more relevant?