The Advertising Potential Of Snapchat

Charles Doyle | November 4, 2014

SnapChat, the photo messaging app currently taking the world by storm, is one of the newest social media platforms to have skyrocketed into extreme popularity in a relatively short time. Having recently rolled out it’s first set of paid advertisements, it’s marketing potential has piqued our curiosity here at YaBlog, and as one who has the app and quite enjoys it on a personal level, I’ll now speculate on three possible ways that they could creatively harness their advertising potential:

Pre-Video Ads


As anyone who’s spent time on YouTube knows, most videos are preceded by short video advertisements that typically make you watch for 5 seconds, then give you the option to skip the rest. Though potentially annoying to some, this type of in-your-face functionality allows the service to stay free, and eventually becomes the inoffensive “norm” to most users. SnapChat would have to do things a bit differently, though: since their videos are personalized between friends and can be no longer than ten seconds, it’d make sense that the preceding ads would have to be even shorter than five seconds. This could prove creatively difficult, but if the SnapChat developers have proven anything about their platform so far, it’s that they’re up to the challenge.

Self-Destructing Promotional Codes

One cool thing about SnapChat is that unless you specify otherwise, all photos and videos sent to your friends will disappear forever after a maximum of ten seconds. This dynamic raises some interesting possibilities in terms of exclusive promotions. It could be something simple as a business sending a photo from their official account to their followers along the lines of “Quickly! Write down this code and enter it on our website for a discount.”, so that the users have to really be paying attention in order to catch it in time. This type of client interaction would be unprecedented of sheer speed, and wouldn’t be difficult or expensive for businesses, even small ones, to adopt.

Photo/Video Contests

Businesses, particularly ones that sell physical/tangible products or services, would be wise to encourage their users to advertise their wares for them by offering some form of incentive. For example, if, say, a fashion label is releasing a new seasonal line, they could offer their customers the opportunity to model their clothing in a public SnapChat forum in exchange for some form of discount or stipend if the photo happens to be selected. This would create an atmosphere of competition and visual flare that would benefit both the business and the end user.

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