Report: Snapchat to boost self-serve offering with full-screen ads

Dive Brief:

  • Snapchat is expanding its self-serve ad options to include the full screen Snap ad format per a report in Digiday citing multiple agency executives. 
  • Previously only Snapchat geofilters could be bought via a self-serve option. The new platform for Snap ads, which run on the Discover portal and users' curated stories, is expected to roll out during the IAB NewFronts conference beginning May 1.
  • Snapchat has gradually been increasing access to Snap ads from only selling the format through a managed service up until last October before adding in-house buying from media partners via a tech license. Allowing for full self-service buying takes away that barrier and reduces fees for advertisers.

Dive Insight:

Snapchat's self-serve geofilter ad format option launched last December. Extending the strategy to the Snap ad format is a good move, as it has been a staple in an otherwise eclectic and often cost-prohibitive lineup of advertising opportunities on the social media app such as sponsored Lenses. Letting advertisers buy Snap ads via a self-serve platform could make Snapchat a more attractive option for marketers looking to reach its younger-skewing demographic by potentially removing some of the friction involved in the process — brands currently have to go through a third-party — and eliminating the fees that come with middlemen. 

If Snap ads are easier to buy, this might encourage brands to experiment more on the platform to find better ways to engage users as new research finds sponsored geofilters and lenses are the only formats with any notable user engagement. A more comprehensive self-serve offering also brings Snapchat more in line with competitors like Facebook. 

Snap Inc. has undergone a rocky number of weeks since its early March IPO with the Snapchat parent company taking some heat from Wall Street analysts concerned the company is overvalued, especially if user growth — which is already showing signs of slowing — becomes an albatross around its neck the way it has for Twitter. The platform's uniqueness — an important early differentiator — is also disappearing as Facebook and its various properties successfully roll out Snapchat-like features and even surpass it in terms of user numbers in the case of Instagram Stories.  

Filed Under: Social Media Video Corporate News
Top image credit: Snapchat