Snapchat Takes on Facebook with Big Advertising Push

Snapchat has decided to make it as easy as it possibly can for marketers to advertise on its site. That means launching a new API and announcing a group of new partners. The API will allow third parties to sell Snapchat ads, and that will mean…well, it’s too soon to tell. Snapchat is trying to make it easier for brands to tell their stories, but is that what users want? Snapchat has a unique group of users, and it has only recently (relatively) added publishers to the mix. It is still testing out how to reach millennials with snippets of news, and we will be curious to see what ad formats the site thinks will perform best with its audience — a demographic that feels quite entitled to skip through commercials and download ad blockers. Too much advertising too fast might drive that prized demographic away if it begins to feel preyed upon by markets who are used to buying for reach rather than for precise targeting.

Snapchat’s API “will hook up more than 20 tech-minded companies, which promises to expand advertising dramatically on the platform in the long run simply by making ads easier to buy.The first group of Ad Partners will develop software for Snapchat advertisers, enabling buying, optimizing and analyzing of campaigns. It’s no surprise to us that our friends at VaynerMedia are in the first group of partners, because VaynerMedia founder GaryVee is one of the most prominent serious Snapchatters, often chronicling his entire day in short video segments. He has clearly made a study of how the platform works and knows how to “work” it.. Now it is time to use it for VaynerMedia’s clients.

According to Snapchat Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan, “we want [brands] to have a place where they can tell their stories, you know, in a better way.” The “better way” will be brought forward by another group of partners, the Creative Partners. Vaynermedia is one of those, too. You can see the entire list here.

Between the two sets of partners, the goal is to generate $1 billion in ad revenue. That’s no mean feat, especially with a tech-savvy young audience used to free content and no ads.