Snap launches new ad formats and AI-powered solutions for advertisers

Part of the social network's ambitious growth plans, Snapchat has introduced several new advertising features allowing marketers to engage with its community of over 750 million monthly users.

Earlier this week at IAB NewFronts, Snap announced a series of new solutions for advertisers, content partnerships and ways to work with creators on Snapchat.

Believing Snapchat to be the home of “real relationships”, the new advertising tools endeavour to help advertisers use those relationships to create a positive halo effect for brands and creators.

Rob Wilk, Snap’s new President of Americas, said: "Snapchat is all about real relationships, and is where over 750 million people come every month to build connections and have fun with friends, families, and their favourite creators.

“We’re thrilled to share at NewFronts how those relationships drive real influence for brands as we announce new innovations and features across Stories, Spotlight, Creators, My AI, and more.”

First Story

First among Snap’s new offerings is First Story, a takeover product which lets advertisers reserve the first six-second non-skip commercial or first sponsored AR Lens that a Snapchatter sees.

Louis Vuitton and Warner Bros. are among the first brands to try the new feature which Snap said has been highly requested among its advertising partners.

In the US, First Story is estimated to offer a potential daily reach of just shy of 50 million.

Launching Ads in Spotlight

Spotlight takes the most entertaining snaps, no matter who created them, and shares them among other snapchatters, making it the easiest way to “discover the world of Snapchat”.

Over 350 million Snapchatters watch Spotlight content every month and in Q1 of 2023, total time spent watching Spotlight grew over 170% year-on-year.

Advertisers now have the chance to capitalise on this growth, with the introduction of ads coming to Spotlight. Initially, Spotlight ads will be served as automatic placements interspersed within Spotlight content and advertisers will be able to manage their placements via Snapchat Ads Manager.

As Spotlight content is moderated before reaching a larger audience, the risk of ads appearing next to undesirable content such as misinformation or hate speech, is diminished.

Snap Star Collab Studio

For creators on Snapchat, Snap has launched the Snap Star Collab Studio in the US, a turn-key end-to-end service aimed at bringing brands and creators together.

Brands can use the tool to source, partner and drive results with Snapchat’s top creators and public figures. By way of accelerating these partnerships, the studio will offer managed service production supported by several of their production partners whose teams will try and help brands create and execute sponsored stories and bespoke ad creatives with Snap Stars.

The offering will also help brands identify the creators and public figures most suitable for achieving their goals, executing across contracts and final deliverable, and producing compelling creative across sponsored stories to be amplified with paid media across the platform.

Evolving ‘My AI’

With over 750 million monthly active users, over 5 billion snaps are created every day and with messaging at the heart of this content, Snap believes that conversational AI is a good fit for its core product value.

Doubling down on this belief, last month, Snap announced the rollout of its AI-powered chatbot, My AI – previously only available to Snapchat+ subscribers – to its global community. After reporting the tool’s growing popularity among its user base, with Snapchat+ subscribers sending nearly 2 million chats per day, Snap is evolving the feature by integrating some new tools into the experience.

It can now suggest relevant AR lenses, recommend places from the Snap Map and, coming soon, Snapchat+ subscribers will be able to snap My AI and get a unique generative snap back in response that facilitates further visual conversation.

New Content Partnerships

Also announced were a series of upcoming sports sponsorship packages aimed at helping marketers activate across Snapchat during some of the world’s biggest sporting events.

Custom content for Snapchat will be brought to life by NBCUniversal for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, exclusive content across Snapchat’s Stories, Spotlight and Camera will be available for the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and Snap’s longstanding partnerships with the NFL, NBA and WNBA will continue - marking several opportunities for advertisers to amplify their brand during these popular events.