- Snap Inc., parent company of the popular video messaging app Snapchat, is providing select advertisers with a viewability score for Snap Ad campaigns, Adweek reported. The measurement firm Moat will validate the score, which becomes broadly available on June 5. Snap Ads is Snapchat's full-screen, vertical video format.
- Moat is audited by the Media Rating Council (MRC), with the next audit set for either later this year or early in 2018. The criteria for Snap's viewability score "will be subject to our next audit of Moat," David Gunzerath, SVP and associate director at the MRC, told Adweek.
- MRC guidelines state video ads should have at least two seconds of continuous viewability to pass marketers' muster. A "strong user interaction" element is also recommended by the industry watchdog group. Adweek noted Snap Ads are a good fit for this criterion since users can swipe up on them to access more content.
Snap giving marketers more viewability into the success of their video campaigns comes at a critical juncture for Snapchat, which retains an active, youth-centric user base but has often been criticized for not providing marketers with enough tools or concrete metrics to measure the success of their efforts.
If Snapchat fails to successfully prove the value of ads on its platform, advertisers might turn attention to a growing roster of competition that includes Facebook's Instagram Stories, which recently surpassed Snapchat for daily active users.
Adweek noted that the timing of the rollout for a viewability score is hardly coincidental, arriving during the Digital Content NewFronts this week and right on the tails of an announcement from WPP's Martin Sorrell that the ad holding firm — the largest in the world — plans to invest $200 million in Snapchat in 2017.
Snap is also expected to expand self-serve advertising options to include full-screen Snap Ads around NewFronts, Digiday reported last month. While making Snap Ads easier to buy might encourage more brands to try them out, it's unclear how much users actually enjoy the format.
EMarketer, citing research from J.P. Morgan, recently said Snapchat video ads are not especially well-liked, and that 73% of surveyed users never swipe up on Snap Ads. In the past, Snapchat users have also been known to cut video ads short, but the MRC's two-second continuous viewability standard is not particularly stringent in that regard.