Snapchat - the new El Dorado in advertising?


The social network is enjoying phenomenal growth. Snapchat is the preferred means of communication for 16-24-year-olds. But they are a difficult target for brands to reach. Until advertising truly makes its mark there.

Launched in 2012, Snapchat enables its users to publish photos or short videos that disappear from their account after 24 hours. It also enables each user to create “stories” that everyone can see.

Is Snapchat just a thing for young people? You bet it is! At the end of June 2016, the application claimed to have 150 million active users every day. The vast majority of these are aged 13 to 24. According to the latest Connected Life study by TNS Kantar, almost a quarter of Internet users worldwide are on Snapchat - a phenomenal rate of growth. In Belgium, 60% of 16-24-year-olds use it - almost a million people, according to a recent study conducted by Digimedia and Isobar. That’s impressive!

10-second adverts between “stories”

The power of Snapchat lies in the fact that it is mostly a creator of content. 60% of users create something every day. The company has decided to diversify this content. Firstly, they are opening it up to editors of newspapers so they can create “stories” as well.

Not yet available in Belgium, this system, called Discover, has just been opened up to mass media companies in France, who have snapped it up - Le Monde, L’Equipe, Paris Match, etc. It has to be said that the target audience is attractive - people under the age of 24 are particularly advertising-shy and so are hard for advertisers to reach.

Snapchat intends to insert 10-second advertising slots between its users’ and the newspapers’ stories, ending with a swipe that provides information on the product. It has just created a platform specifically for brands to support this: Snapchat Partners. The terms are harsh because the video must meet the application’s graphical criteria.

Based on these 150 million daily users, Snapchat will be able to carry out precise behavioural advertising targeting. If your daughter is crazy about Kim Kardashian, there is every reason to believe that adverts associated with fashion or cosmetics will be inserted between stories about the star. Launched in June, Snapchat Partners has already attracted very big market names such as Procter & Gamble, Louis Vuitton, Nike, Toyota, etc. Short adverts in the Snapchat style, delivered directly to young peoples’ smartphones - there is no mistaking the sweet smell of success. It is hardly surprising that the company has announced end-of-year revenues that have sextupled and will be launched on the stock market next spring.

In Belgium, a third of brands are active on Snapchat.

Sources: Digimedia, ZDNet, Adweek