Ephemeral messaging app Snapchat is reportedly working on a new advertising unit that will let brands insert marketing messages into your selfies. Sources tell The Financial Times that the company is working with advertisers on its “sponsored lenses,” which could be out this Halloween.
Costing up to $750,000 for a brand to reach Snapchat’s entire audience for a prime event like Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Black Friday, “sponsored lenses” gives the messaging service another opportunity to capitalize on its growing audience. Already advertisers can run campaigns across stories within its Discover feature, and in premium and curated stories.
Nearly 100 million people use Snapchat every day. The company believes that if any brand wants to reach the teenage or millennial market, targeting selfies is probably the best thing for it to offer next.
At the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity earlier this year, Snapchat chief executive Evan Spiegel addressed 6,000 of the advertising world’s top creatives and executives. Admittedly someone who has “never built an ad business before,” this was an important meeting because it could have implications on how Snapchat would successfully monetize itself. During his talk, he spoke about why Snapchat’s vertical video format was going to be something that helps convert users for advertisers.
Brands are eager to get in front of this phenomenon known as Snapchat, but exactly how is up for debate. They’re interested to know what options there are to capitalize on the enormous teen audience for this app where messages disappear after 24 hours. And now, if you’re sharing selfies on Snapchat with that new Lens effect, you might find yourself photobombed by an ad.
We’ve reached out to Snapchat for comment and will update this if we hear back.