Snapchat Addresses Misconceptions & Changes
Late last month Snapchat’s Vice-President of Content, Nick Bell, spoke at Advertising Week Europe, where he addressed misconceptions and upcoming changes to ad products. Here are some of my takeaways:
It’s About Sharing Moments With Friends
Snapchat wants advertisers to grasp the idea that by taking the focus off “likes or hearts” consumers on the platform live more in the moment with their friends and “don’t obsess” over “surface vanity metrics”. This is one of the reasons why user generated content on the platform is more raw and authentic. Platform specific behavior uniquely impacts the way users experience content on Snapchat, fundamentally altering consumers’ expectations of ad unit presentation, context, and format.
Consumers Don’t Want to be Forced to Watch Ads
Snapchat conducted “a lot of research” around forcing users to watch ads and concluded that “50 percent of people who were forced to watch an ad actually built up negative sentiment toward that brand”.Their research shows that “attention spans, particularly on mobile, are much lower” with more impactful content getting the message across in two to six seconds.
The Audience is Getting Older
The platform’s audience is aging. Claiming “two-thirds of their audience is over 18,” with 50 percent of new daily users over the age of 25. This is interesting to note, especially given that early this year the measurement firm Comscore reported that in 2015, Snapchat added 25-to-34-year-old users (103%) and older-than-35 users (84%) faster than 18-to-24-year-old users (56%). The report goes on to state that “Snapchat’s own data now pegs 12% of its nearly 50 million daily users in the U.S. as 35 to 54.” With Snapchat getting more than 100 million daily users who spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app each day, the consumer buying power and attention on the platform is trending from intriguing to important.
Expect More Targeting & Data
Business Insider reported in December, that Snapchat was expanding their targeting capabilities by investing in solutions provided by 3rd party data partners Nielsen, and Millward Brown. The company has been making a big investment in the development of its ad tech giving brand’s typical metrics they would expect for typical media buys, “based around engagement” and focused on “how long people viewed the content for, whom it reached, and more.”
Nick Bell addressed the issue of expensive ads on the platform, stating that when the company initially launched its ad tech platform, mass audiences with huge reach were more expensive. Now as the company has matured, they aim to offer a variety of ad products that have different levels of entry pricing. Snapchat has lowered their entry level pricing to just “tens of thousands” of dollars and highlighted the recent release of their On-Demand Geofilter ad product starting at just five dollars.
The Only Constant is Change
Snapchat still acts like a really big startup, constantly iterating over its product. The best thing Brands and advertisers can do is remain agile and anticipate change. Snapchat has already demonstrated they don’t fear testing and killing projects quickly. For example, they discontinued in-app purchase options like Replays after seven months, and the consumer Lens Store after just two months.