- Marketers that place ads through the Snap Audience Network now have access to the inventory of Unity Ads, the gaming monetization platform that reaches consumers through Android and Apple devices, per an announcement.
- Game designers who use the Unity Asset Store now have access to Snap Kit, the company's collection of software development kits (SDKs) that integrate features from Snapchat with other apps. The Login Kit lets gamers use their Snapchat account to quickly sign up for mobile games, while the Creative Kit lets Snapchat users share their gameplay in snapshots and 15-second videos, or by attaching an augmented reality (AR) lens with a game's branding. A Bitmoji for Games SDK is expected to be available in in 2021.
- The move is designed to help marketers reach a broader audience on smartphones at a time when mobile gaming is growing. Unity Ads reaches more than 2 billion consumers worldwide and generates 22.9 billion ad impressions a month, according to Unity data gathered in June. With people spending more time playing mobile games during the pandemic, install conversion rates from mobile ads have risen by 23% while mobile game installs have jumped 84%, according to a study by Unity.
Unity and Snap's agreement to integrate their platforms gives marketers another way to reach the growing number of people who play mobile games. More than half of all mobile games are made with Unity's software, per the company, though it's not clear how many of those games also carry advertising using the Unity Ads platform. Unity Ads has extensive global reach among mobile games that sell ad placements, giving marketers that buy ads through Snap Audience Network access to a wider group of consumers.
"As gaming has increasingly become a visible part of the Snapchatter journey, it's also an area that we aim to make easier for retailers and brands to reach Unity's action-orientated gaming community through their Snapchat campaigns," said Ben Schwerin, vice president of Partnership at Snap, in a statement.
The integration between Snap and Unity's platforms is a first step toward deepening their ties. Next year, Snap will offer an integration with Bitmoji, which lets Snapchat users to create digital avatars to represent themselves in the photo-messaging app. Snap's Bitmoji for Game’s Unity SDK lets game developers offer the ability for gamers to put their Bitmoji avatars into games, making them more immersive.
For app developers, mobile advertising is a crucial part of raising awareness and driving app installs in a hypercompetitive market. Apple's App Store and Google Play have millions of apps including games, challenging their publishers to optimize their marketing as much as possible to stand out. App install advertising had been forecast to jump 32% to $76.2 billion worldwide this year and reach $118.4 billion by 2022, app marketing company AppsFlyer estimated before the pandemic spurred even greater usage of mobile devices.
The integration with Unity comes a few weeks after Snap began offering software tools to help developers advertise their apps in Snapchat. The ad suite has products to boost retention, lifetime value and return on ad spend, and lets app developers integrate Snapchat experiences into apps to keep users engaged. The expanded ad suite comes as Snap sees higher growth from direct response advertising.
The integration of Unity Ads with the Snap Audience Network is available in the U.S. and Canada, and will be expanded to other countries. Snap Kit's Login Kit and Creative Kit features are now available worldwide, per the announcement.