Snapchat broadens brands' AR, targeting opportunities in major update

Dive Brief:

  • Snapchat rolled out three new ad products to Sponsored Creative Tools called Audience Lenses, Smart Geofilters and Sponsored World Lenses, according to TechCrunch. The update is the largest to Sponsored Creative Tools since Sponsored Lenses launched in October 2015, the publication said.
  • Sponsored World Lenses represent a significant expansion of augmented reality (AR) capabilities for marketers on Snapchat, allowing them to overlay 2-D and 3-D objects onto landscapes as opposed to just on users' faces and also leverage the platform's outward-facing camera. World Lenses were introduced for users last month, but now brands including Warner Bros., Netflix and Dunkin' Donuts are gearing up campaigns with the format, per Recode.    
  • Audience Lenses and Smart Geofilters both provide marketers with better targeting: Sponsored lenses can be targeted based on age, gender and Snap Lifestyle categories for the first time, and geofilters can now include location information and other data such as names of high schools, colleges, airports, states, cities, neighborhoods and zip codes, TechCrunch said.

Dive Insight:

Snap Inc., Snapchat's parent company, recently whiffed on its first quarterly earnings as a publicly-traded company, and further frustrated analysts and investors by not outlining many concrete product innovations for the rest of the year. Now, less than a week after the Q1 report, the updates to Snapchat's suite of Sponsored Creative Tools for marketers provide a clearer picture of where Snapchat is looking to build out its strategy for the rest of 2017 — namely by providing more robust AR capabilities for brands and honing location-based marketing that has been successful in the past.

Both updates should be welcome by marketers, and further flesh out native Snapchat ad formats that are shown to be popular with users. More than one-third of daily active users play with lenses on the platform, and snaps tagged with geofilters are viewed over 1 billion times each day, on average, TechCrunch reported. 

Broadening targeting capabilities with these formats and providing more granular data on users might address long-standing criticism that Snapchat does not do enough to help marketers track the success of their efforts. Location-based marketing and measurements might be an area for Snapchat to own in an ever-more crowded social space, and the platform is also testing an offline attribution product called Snap to Store.

AR is another hot item in the mobile marketing space, and the introduction of Sponsored World Lenses come as Snapchat's main competitor Facebook pushes to offer more augmented reality tools for developers and marketers

For another look at Snapchat's new ad offerings, check out Andrew Hutchinson's analysis over at Social Media Today. 

Filed Under: Social Media Video Mobile
Top image credit: Snapchat