News

POV: Snap Audience Filter and Snap Pixel

Background

Snapchat has launched new audience based filters to give advertisers a new option to reach consumers using the platform and increase creative messaging.

Details and Implications

Called ‘Audience Filters’ the new targeting capability allows brands to target users with a sponsored filter based on parameters including location, interest, age and time of day. This new level of targeting allows advertisers to be much more creative in their messaging on the platform, running different creative against all the variables to either target specific audiences, or using sequential ads to build a story – such as running different ads at different times of day to users in a specific location or who have certain interests.

Audience Filters is a significant enhancement on top of Snapchat’s previous location based targeting capability and as there are 3bn filter views per day, it will give brands access to a large audience with which to do more creative targeting and messaging.

Using the different variables will give advertisers significantly more scope for reaching their consumers than the platform has previously offered. Simple location based targeting is not a sharp enough tool for savvy digital marketers and Snap has recognised this with this new release. It may have taken some time, but the new suite of targeting capabilities could transform how brands use the platform allowing them to take insights and audiences from other platforms into the Snapchat platform and to see how campaigns perform against these audiences in comparison.

The extra targeting capability follows the new tools being trialled by advertisers to enhance tracking and measure their campaigns on the platform. Snap is working with select brands to test Pixel Tracking – allowing them to create pieces of code dropped on websites to track specific actions that someone takes after seeing an ad.  The ‘Snap Pixel’ is another important step for Snap in showing that advertising on its service leads to conversions on advertiser websites, something already offered by Facebook, Google and others.

Summary

This is great news for advertisers. Firstly, it makes Snapchat a more complete advertising platform, something that advertisers have being demanding for some time now. Secondly, it allows better comparison between advertising on Snapchat and other digital platforms when it comes to specific audiences, especially once the Snap Pixel is fully rolled out. This will give advertisers the opportunity to see for the first time, in quantifiable terms, how important Snapchat is to its advertising mix. Much has been made of the youth audience that is to be found on the Snapchat platform, it will be interesting to see if the promise is fulfilled.

Lastly and most importantly for Snapchat, it is a huge moment for the newest of the digital giants as it will finally be able to compete against the bigger digital platforms like Facebook and Google on an ‘almost level’ playing field. In the last round of quarterly results Snap posted $208m in total revenue compared to Google’s $24bn, Facebook’s $10bn and Twitter’s $500m, so there is a big gap to make up, but at least Snap is off and running. Probably the biggest unanswered question is what will Snapchat users make of the new advertising?

Further Reading

Snap Pixel in AdWeek / Audience Filters in AdAge / Business Insider