Snapchat updates advertising features: What it means for users and advertisers

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Snapchat has unveiled a wide-randing update to its the advertising features of it’s short video sharing service, giving advertisers greater opportunity to target the platform’s growing audience.

Many of the advertising changes revolve around the app’s ‘Stories’ function, which shows a 24-hour viewable selection of friends’ Snapchats.

As reported by TechCrunch, advertisements will now be threaded in-between stories when users auto play through them, but will not show when a specific story is selected.

These advertisements will also have ‘expandable’ features that allow users to swipe up and open webpages or download apps.

This also allows access to longer form videos and articles through Snapchat’s ‘Discover’ feature, which means news outlets will no longer be subject to Snapchat’s video time limits.

Snapchat claims to reach 41% of 18 to 34 year olds in the United States every day.

Snapchat will also be rolling out a new range of sponsored filters and lenses (superimposed CGI overlaying the users face)

Australia has already been subjected to filter-based advertising, with fast food giant McDonalds running promotions through the video sharing service in May.

Sponsored filters and lenses can reach between 40 to 60% of daily Snapchat users, with a recent Gatorade promotion in the US achieving 165 million views and a 30-second engagement time.

Snapchat will also be promoting a series of vetted creative agencies to help companies produce visually engaging Snapchat ads.

For these agencies, Snapchat is releasing its application-programming interface (API), which will allow for easier buying and selling of ad campaigns on the service.

The appeal of Snapchat ads

Snapchat’s particular brand of advertising, labelled as “Sponsored Creation Tools”, so far appears to be attracting advertising dollars.

Having the advantage of being interactive, engaging and usually entertaining – a Taco Bell lens turns your head into a giant taco – Snapchat’s advertising is unlike what’s found on any other social media.And coupled with being totally immune to ad blockers (for the moment), this creates a potentially lucrative and unique market for the social platform.

Digital strategy consultant Andrew Hutchinson told SmartCompany Snapchat is reaching a larger Millennial audience than other, more-established social platforms.

“A lot of advertisers are keen on Millennials, and Snapchat gives you more opportunities to reach them than any other platform,” Hutchinson says.

Although the services advertising will be unusual to many Snapchat users, Hutchinson says the ads will likely not feel too intrusive.

“Snapchat’s done a good job in the past in not being intrusive, they’re really clever in the way they pick up on trends,” Hutchinson says.

“All the ads will go through an approval process, so they should be in line with Snapchat’s audience.”

Snapchats focus has not yet turned to Australia and Hutchinson thinks with more data tracking advertisers could be enticed into the Australian market.

“We don’t have the same sort of tracking as the US, so we don’t get the same sort of focus, and the chance of us getting it is not that high,” he says.

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