Snapchat on a roll – unveils new Ads API and creative advertising formats


Snapchat has been busy expanding its ad products to prove to investors that it’s worth their $16bn evaluation. Now, the company has finally rolled out its long-awaited API, which means that ads on Snapchat can be sold programmatically through Ad Partners and Creative Partners. This means inventory will be sold based on an auction-style system.

Ad Partners include 4C, Amobee, Brand Networks, SocialCode, TubeMogul, Adaptly, VaynerMedia, and Unified.

Creative Partners are made up of a mixture of social content and video experts such as Big Spaceship, The 88 and Refinery29, among many others.

Snapchat rolls out API and adds new advertising formats and Sponsored Creation Tools



The move is likely to push down the price tag on a previously premium-only ad product and enable smaller and medium-sized companies to advertise on Snapchat through bidding.

Snapchat also announced a new advertising product which plays in between Stories. Called Snap Ad, the new format lets marketers show 10-second videos whilst users advance on their feed, moving from one Stories post to the next. Snapchat hopes that that will not interrupt flow.

In addition, users will be able to install promoted apps or engage with videos by viewing a longer version, visiting a mobile site or reading an Instant Article-style article.

The company promised to review ads to ensure the user experience would not be disrupted and ad load wouldn’t become overwhelming.

Partnerships with Moat, Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings and Google DoubleClick allow Snapchat to provide some more extended ad measurement tools.

According to the company, engagement rates through the new suite of products were five times higher compared to other platforms.

Gatorade’s sponsored national lens campaign drove 165m total views on Snapchat

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Perhaps the real distinguisher here are Snapchat’s creative tools and additions to its advertising suite. The company unveiled a Sponsored Creation Tool which allows users to create ads that they can share with friends. For example, users can turn their head into a giant taco from Taco Bell.

The feature has led to some good results for advertisers with Taco Bell’s national lens ad campaign generating 224m views.

Peter Sellis, Head of Monetisation, Snapchat, explains:

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“By doing this the right way, focused on creativity and doing it early, it allows us to be extraordinarily conservative. Something that I think often gets lost is that ad effectiveness can be inversely correlated with the number of ads that the viewer sees. If you see 50 ads in a day, the probability of you remembering them is low.”

It’s obvious that the company is following somewhat in Facebook’s footsteps – building its Ads API and unlocking some cool new tools for advertisers and users to play with. The new API and advertising products are likely to turn up the heat on Snapchat and see a flux of marketers testing its products.