Snapchat is now introducing advertisements that could potentially forever change the way people utilize this app. When Snapchat was first created, nobody expected it to blow up into the phenomenon it is today. The app was as simple as could be: Send a photo to a selected person for up to ten seconds, and then it disappears “forever.” Snapchat has now progressed greatly; people can post stories, follow celebrities, use filters on their faces or geotags to mark where they are, and even replay or take a screenshot of a Snapchat sent to them.
According to TechCrunch, Snapchat will now allow advertisers to place ads between people’s stories, swipe up on stories to visit a website, and will foster partnerships with different companies to help make more creative advertisements.
For example, Snapchat now offers sponsored national lens advertisements. During “game day”, Gatorade partnered with Snapchat to create a geofilter. A person clicks and holds down on their face in order to activate the geofilters. The first one is sponsored by Gatorade, in which a person’s face can be easily transformed to look more like a football player, complete with the black lines under the eyes and a superimposed Gatorade bucket being poured on the person’s head. Another popular partnership is that between Snapchat and Taco Bell. On certain days, a geofilter is offered to turn a person’s face into a classic Taco Bell taco.
One of the most important aspects of Snapchat’s new update is that advertisers are now permitted to coordinate with businesses through ads API. Application programming interface (API) is a platform in which the extra steps between two companies are eliminated, and a software or application can be built efficiently.
An API can filter which ads should target which groups of people based on the advertiser’s preferences. Instead of having the advertiser individually coordinate with different companies regarding who to direct the ad towards, the API will determine this based on a set of protocols and formulas.
David Cohen of SocialTimes wrote that “this marks the first time ads on Snapchat will be sold by third parties,” as originally reported by Adweek’s Christopher Heine.
Snapchat’s initially did not allow advertisements on its app, as the company believed it defeated the purpose of quickly exchanging pictures, without the interruption of an outside, commercial source. Now, this app has slowly integrated the use of different types of advertisements into its Discover page, stories and filters.
Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel remarked in late 2014 that although Snapchat would soon be using ads, they will not be targeted to individual users based on their tastes. This, reported in the Wall Street Journal by Douglas Macmillan, was clearly the wrong foresight into the future, as that is exactly what the ads are currently used for.
In March 2014, Snapchat estimated its daily user count to be approximately 50 million active users. In December 2015, the estimated daily user count was 110 million users. It is needless to say that Snapchat’s thriving and evolving nature proves more successful than could ever be imagined.