What You Need To Know About All The “Brand-First” Snapchat Updates


JUNE 7, 2018:

Snapchat has recently been on a roll with updates on the platform: everything from augmented reality to filters and selfie games, we’ve rounded up a list of the most major changes that are now available and coming soon to Snap.


Unskippable Commercials

Say hello to a new ad format on Snapchat, “commercials”. These new, six-second videos will give brands the option to run video exclusively during Snapchat’s shows (on the right side of the camera) and they’re unskippable.

This is a significant change to the platform and could give a glimpse of the direction that the platform is heading into one that is blurring the line between more tradition “television”-like content and a sharing tool used between friends. Also, this new ad format is unusual to Snapchat’s current user interphase, which until this point has not allowed users to skip ads. If you’re thinking that this sounds familiar, you’re right. In a way, this update is similar to YouTube’s five-second unskippable ads. It’ll be interesting to see if and how brands will adapt their content on Snapchat towards a more “brand first” approach, where their logo, message, or branding is in the first few seconds of the ad. One thing to note is that this update is still in beta and therefore only limited to certain brands becomes, but we will see if it becomes a permanent part of the app in the coming months.


AR Lenses

New shoppable AR lenses are now becoming available on Snapchat for brands to take advantage of. This is great news to advertisers, especially e-commerce brands, who will now be able to add buttons like “Buy Now” or “Watch Now” on their ads to get users to take a specific action. Brands like Adidas have already started testing out the unit, which provides a way for users to purchase within the app, without having to leave.


Selfie Games

Another update in the AR world of Snapchat is “selfie games”, which the app is referring to as “Snappables”. This one is now available around the world and allows users to use motion, touch, and facial expressions to play games on the app. Users can play renditions of classic games (think popping bubbles) either solo or with friends. With the large backlash Snapchat received on their redesign (ICYMI, you can read more on that, here), Snapchat seems to be concentrating on improving the user experience within the app. The goal is clearly to get users to spend more time on the platform by integrating more augmented reality and interactive behavior. Dunkin Donuts, Under Armour, and Gatorade are just a few of the brands that have had serious success with interactive games on Snapchat, so it should be interesting to see what other brands, especially in the beauty, skincare, and fashion industries will do to get involved in this AR-meets-gaming space.


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