Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Unclear Yet Promising Future of Advertising on Snapchat

It is no real surprise that Snapchat is becoming increasingly popular in the social world. I can still remember when I first downloaded the app and saw no point in sending a picture that my friend could only view for ten seconds or less. A few years later and you can still send short pictures to your friends, but you can also send videos, make stories, follow celebrities, watch clips from live events, read Wall Street Journal articles, and much more. The Snapchat world has taken off and advertising with the growing network is ready for launch.

Currently, you can watch paid videos from a select group of companies in the Discover tab where you see their stories and read their articles. Companies can also advertise with sponsored geo-filters that users can use for 24 hours. The rest of the advertising possibilities are still in the preparation phase.

Snapchat has tossed around the idea of improving ad targeting in the Discover portal to track the content that each user is specifically viewing and then following their off-site browsing and searching activity. This is an upgrade from Snapchat’s current strategy of targeting ads based on what channels people are checking out.

Moat, a third party measurement company, has become of interest to Snapchat who wishes to track the success of their advertisers better. Currently, there is no length tracking on “views” to see how long a user actually views an ad for. For example, one user could click on an ad and immediately click off while another user clicks on the ad and watches the whole thing. According to Snapchat’s current measurements, both are considered a “view”. By partnering with Moat (as Facebook and YouTube have already done) Snapchat will be able to assure their advertisers that they are getting the biggest bang for their buck, or at least let them know how long users are keeping with their ad.

Lastly, Snapchat is contemplating with the idea of a redesigned feed to combine personal stories, Discover, and Live and Local Stories. This redesigned feed would have a back-end algorithm to personalize each feed to each user.

While many of these advancements are still in the developmental stage, the future for Snapchat is promising with opportunities for growth and expansion through advertising. 

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