- Snapchat is in the process of building an application programming interface (API) for its partners with the goal of making it easier to buy ads with more frequency and precision.
- Anonymous sources told Digiday the app is in discussions with potential partners such as ad tech firms and agencies as it builds out the API with the idea of having something ready for testing in the spring.
- Snapchat recently gave its publisher partners an early holiday gift by allowing them to link their content outside of the platform, such as is with Facebook posts or tweets.
Snapchat is far from the first platform to open an API – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest all have -- but it is an important move for the messaging app as it looks to cement its footing in the social digital ad space.
An agency executive with knowledge of Snapchat’s plans told Digiday, "Snapchat’s ambition going into 2016 is to have many more opportunities for e-commerce on the platform and other stuff that is more about building audiences."
Snapchat's social media competitors that have APIs are able give advertisers a wider range of ad types with specific purposes such as app install ads and other direct response formats.
Explaining the value of an API for Snapchat, Sean O’Neal, president of Adaptly, told Digiday, "The first thing an API does is allows them to create a partnered ecosystem that is technology driven. There’s only so much that a company is going to be able to develop themselves as it relates to their own native ad solutions."
And even then, it could be months before the API is open for business.