Jun 17, 2016

A Simple Simple Short Shot

Snapchat gets onboard with social media marketers

How small businesses can advertise on Snapchat.

Brands began using the app as a typical user, posting images and videos to their story and inviting others to find their feed by marketing it on their own social media platforms. Big advertising opportunities existed only for brands that could afford to spend half a million dollars a day, every day, to live in Snapchat Discover. But today, there’s light on the horizon for smaller advertisers.

Snapchat is undertaking advertising on a much broader level, introducing an API and measureable data for advertisers - but the biggest news is actually the advent of “Between Stories”, video ads that exist between the stream of stories you watch of your friends and the brands you follow. It’s the first opportunity the ‘little’ brands will have at buying space on the app boasting 100 million daily active users, spending an average of 25-30 minutes a day looking at stories and Discover articles.

Mobile phones are much more about creating media... we've really seen in the last year that video and visual storytelling is resonating.
- Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel

Currently the advertising on Snapchat doesn’t feel like advertising. Right now,  the paid content is still served in pieces the user chooses to consume - a lens on a selfie, a story from a brand, or something from the Discover section; but with Between Stories and an advertising interface things may shift. It’ll continue to live within the Snapchat guise - vertical video with default audio - but with a third party connectivity it means Snapchat no longer has complete control over who buys ads, or what the content is.

Since Instagram opened up the advertising flood gates their interaction rates are down 40% and continuing to fall. Sure, Instagram is most likely raking in money from advertising, but is it worth the lost connection with their users? A good monetization choice does not necessarily mean a good move. Facebook has recently changed their algorithm again in an effort to return to their social roots - prioritizing friends and family and strong or interactive content in the news feed over pages and businesses.

Does Snapchat have the same fate - to be overrun with brands until the intimacy and personality is gone? Advertising means a big pay-out for developers, but does it also signal the beginning of the end?