My how Snapchat has grown. At first it was just for sharing odd little photos or messages, but now it's developed filters and Stories and become a real social app. It's changed and grown, and now it seems that it's time for it to put some bread on the table with a more aggressive advertising strategy.
According to Adweek, the company just launched Snapchat Partners, an advertising API that will allow third parties to sell ads in the app. Utilizing an automated auction system, companies will be able to buy video inventory within the app.
Ads and campaigns will be examined by Snapchat and its advertising partners to make sure they meet certain quality standards, which is probably a smart move considering how ad-wary most smartphone users have become.
Snapchat’s collaborators in this project have been broken up into two groups: ads partners and creative partners. The ad partners are in charge of developing the advertising software for buying and selling, as well as analyzing campaigns for quality control. Creative partners will be made up of organizations who have experience working in social content development. Together, these two sides will make sure users are getting the most out of the experience.
Where Snapchat excells is making advertising something users want to play with rather than simply view. The company can make a custom branded filter, like a recent campaign for Gatorade that allowed users to dump a imaginary cooler of the drink on themselves. Unlike traditional advertising these interactive filters often feel more like mini-games than the ads that break up your favorite TV shows.
Given Snapchat has a reported 150 million daily users, the majority of which are in the coveted 18-to-35 demographic, the potential for the platform’s ad revenue is extraordinary, provided they don’t alienate users by adding too many ads.
In a statement to Adweek, the company’s head of monetization, Peter Sellis, explained the advantage of now overloading users:
"By doing this the right way, focused on creativity and doing it early, it allows us to be extraordinarily conservative," says Sellis. "Something that I think often gets lost is that ad effectiveness can be inversely correlated with the number of ads that the viewer sees. If you see 50 ads in a day, the probability of you remembering them is low."
The rest of Adweek’s piece offers an in-depth look at the development and implementation of Snapchat’s new advertising platform.