Snapchat recently announced the launch of Snapchat Partners, its long-anticipated advertising API (application programming interface), which will hook up more than 20 tech-minded companies. The API promises to expand advertising dramatically on the platform in the long run. “Different marketers have different objectives, and we just want to make it easier for them to buy ads on the platform,” Imran Khan, Snapchat’s Chief Strategy Officer explains. “We want [brands] to have a place where they can tell their stories, you know, in a better way.”
The API means that for the first time, Snapchat ads will be sold by third parties. They will be divided by two kinds of collaborators: Ads Partners and Creative Partners. The first group will develop software for Snapchat advertisers, enabling buying, optimizing and analyzing of campaigns. Ads Partners include:
The Creative Partners, meanwhile, represent a mix of players with expertise in social content and experience with Snapchat’s vertical-video format, 3V, which the company plans to rebrand in the coming weeks as Snap Ads. That group includes:
- Big Spaceship
- The 88
- Matte Finish
- Moment Studio
- Stun Creative
- The Mill
- Studio Number One
- VaynerMedia (the only agency that will be both an Ads Partner and Creative Partner at launch)
API inventory will be sold via an automated, auction-based system. Snapchat didn’t disclose a lot of financial detail about the relationships on its API, but Ads Partners members will sell video inventory to be automatically invoiced to Snapchat, after which the vendors will collect their fees.
The ads won’t be spotted for a few weeks yet, as Snapchat Partners just got clearance to coordinate with brand marketers. Snapchat will work closely with its partners to ensure marketers are ready and that the ads are in top quality. In fact, Snapchat will inspect every ad, much as Instagram did for years.
What does all this mean for ad pricing? So far, Snapchat’s premium video ad inventory has been priced on a cost-per-thousand-impression rate that is sometimes competitive with TV, meaning in the $40-60 range, per industry sources. Marketers can expect both API videos and the newly launched Snap Ads Between Stories to be less expensive. However, special events like July 4th or Black Friday will likely jack up prices due to the supply-and-demand forces in an auction-based system.
If you’re still on the fence about Snapchat advertising, check out these stats:
- Snapchat Geofilters are viewed 800 million times per day
- Video views in the last year grew 350% to 10 billion per day
- More than 66% of Snapchat’s 150 million users post every day
- An ad for Shock Top beer garnered 12.5 million views
- Daily users spend 25 to 30 minutes not he app
- Gatorade’s Super Bowl run produced an 8 point jump in purchase intent
- The app is used by more than 60% of US smartphone owners 13-34
- Taco Bell gets 100,000 views per video, with an 80% completion rate