Somewhere in your childhood you probably heard the phrase “curiosity killed the cat.” It’s usually meant to encourage you to have more patience. However, the part of the phrase they left out was “but satisfaction brought it back.” They say that anticipation can bring joy. If that’s the case, you’re going to be over the moon for the latest round of Snapchat updates coming soon.
Snapchat Updates Available Now
First a look at what Snapchat updates have already rolled out. A key focus has been revenue. User growth for Snap Inc. has been slowing. As a result, profit is still some way off. With this in mind, Snap has been working to add new revenue-generating options to their platform. Those revenue generating options include: a self-serve ad platform that is now available to all businesses; in-app Geofilter creation and purchase; and Snap Publisher – a tool that makes it easier to create Snapchat ads.
Previously advertisers were only able to purchase Snapchat ads via partners or through Snapchat directly. With the launch of the self-serve ad platform, advertisers can now create and purchase their ads via a new dashboard. Simply visit the Snapchat Ads website and click the ‘Get Started’ button. Once you’ve signed up you can start creating your Snapchat campaign. The platform will direct you to choose your objective, enter your ad parameters, set-up targeting, and set your budget.
It’s worth mentioning that Sponsored Lenses and Sponsored Geofilters are not available through the self-serve platform. Geofilters has its own dashboard and Sponsored Lenses will still need to go through Snap directly.
While the process sounds pretty familiar to other platforms, Snapchat’s video ads require more technical understanding than simple image and link campaigns. Which is why Snap Inc. will be introducing the Snap Publisher tool to assist with the self-serve ads. Snapchat has been considered more difficult to use than other social media apps; the tool will help advertisers create Snap ads by providing tools and templates, including trimming horizontal videos for the vertical format.
Several months ago, Snapchat rebranded as Snap Inc. And Snap Inc describes themselves not as a social networking app, but as a camera company that makes Snapchat and Snap Spectacles. While Spectacles have done reasonably well for Snap Inc, the initial hype around the device has died down from the launch. With a focus of being a camera company, Spectacles could be a main component. The potential for Spectacles, and possibly incorporating AR capabilities, is huge.
What Snapchat Updates Are Coming
Snap Inc is expanding its offering. Over the past few months Snap has acquired several companies, with a particular focus on geolocation capabilities. One of the companies acquired was Placed, which tracks effectiveness of online ads and how they drive in-store sales. This acquisition goes a long way to combat one of the biggest criticisms against the app as an ad tool, which has been the lack of metrics available and transparency on Snap data. TechCrunch reports that Placed has already measured more than $500 million in ad spend for a range of companies. In the same vein, Snap also announced the launch of a new program that will allow third-party measurement firms to track Snapchat ad impact on a brand’s sales. Snapchat has often said that their uses are more engaged than on other platforms and these additions could help prove their point.
Another recent acquisition was for intellectual property previously held by Drop. Augmented reality startup Drop created an app that would let you post photos or text to a certain location. When your followers were nearby they would get an alert to check it out. By utilizing Drop’s IP, Snapchat could introduce a similar feature through Snap Map. The feature would provide a new interactive element to Snap and could provide a unique way for businesses to engage their Snapchat followers by attaching special offers to their store locations.
Finally, Snap has also purchased Strong.Codes. Strong.Codes is a software protection company which hides software code, making it more difficult for an app or program to be copied. With the constant back and forth between Facebook and Snapchat in releasing new features this might be Snapchat’s efforts to limit the ability for new features to be copied.
New Snapchat Tools
When it comes to new tools, Snapchat’s focus seems to be on better engaging their existing audience. Over the past few months Snap has introduced several new tools to their platform. These have included: Limitless Snaps, Emoji Draw, Magic Eraser, Snap Map, Links in Snaps, Backdrops, Voice Filters, Tint Brush, and Continuous Video Recording.
Snapchat has also been working to encourage more group interaction on the app with tools like Collaborative Stores. They have also expanded the size of Snapchat group chats to 32 participants.
Exclusive In-App Content
All the major social media platforms are looking to offer original video content on their channels. While Snapchat has offered short-form, TV-like content for some time they just announced a new deal with NBC for a program called ‘Stay Tuned.’ This exclusive to Snapchat program will air twice a day and recap the latest news in 2-4 minute segments.
Video isn’t the only exclusive content Snapchat is looking to offer. With Snapchat’s large college student user base, they are also looking to partner with college newspapers to produce local campus editions of their publications for Snapchat Discover.
With fewer than 200 million total users Snapchat can’t really compete on scale with Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. But a higher engaged audience might be the method they use to generate interest and revenue. These latest Snapchat updates that are coming soon could boost investor sentiment.