Snapchat is adding more ways for advertisers to be in your silly selfies
Snapchat’s latest push to make money? Sponsored “lenses” that let users insert special effects into their selfies.
Snapchat will debut the new sponsored lenses for Halloween, and will design them on behalf of marketers, according to the Financial Times. Hollywood studios will likely be among the first advertisers.
The ephemeral messaging app introduced this new feature two weeks ago, which lets users add a fun animated overlay to their selfies. So far, the company has premiered versions that make people in the photos appear sick, lets them vomit a rainbow, and makes them look old, among many others.
Snapchat will charge up to $750,000 for a lens on a “peak day” like Halloween or Thanksgiving, and $450,000 for an off-peak day, according to the report, to reach its 100 million daily active users.
This isn’t Snapchat’s first try at letting companies sponsor features involving its users’ content. In June, Snapchat started working with marketers on custom geofilters, which are stickers users can add to their photos and videos when they’re at a specific location. McDonalds, the first such marketer, sponsored stickers like a double cheeseburger or a bag of french fries.
Snapchat is likely to continue experimenting with new ways for companies to inject themselves into user photos and videos—for a fee—until it finds one that sticks. The service has 100 million daily active users, many of whom are in their teens.
In June, during the Cannes film festival, Snapchat also said it had teamed up with the U.K newspaper the Daily Mail and advertising giant WPP to start an ad agency for creating social media content for brands. Snapchat is contributing its expertise with young people.
But Snapchat’s biggest bet on making money thus far has been on Discover, the media hub it has built inside its app. Discover lets users view short video clips, news articles, games, quizzes, and ads from publishers, publications and broadcast outlets including Vice, Cosmopolitan, Mashable, and CNN. The ads and much of the content have been specially created for the app.
The FT report also noted that Snapchat is on track to hit $100 million in sales this year, double its recent $50 million target, with some advertisers already making commitments for next year. This is in stark contrast from 2014, when the company reportedly lost $128 million on only $3 million in sales, according to confidential documents Gawker published in August.
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