Nearly two months after introducing Snappables, its social AR offering, Snap is now working with companies to create and sell branded versions of Snappables games. The new offering is part of a larger effort to make it easier for advertisers to purchase AR ads.
The first sponsored Snappables will go live on Thursday, according to a Snap spokesperson. King — the maker of Candy Crush — Dunkin’ Donuts, and Bud Light are among some of the first companies who will be partnering with Snap on the games at launch. Snappables are multiplayer and high score games that users can play with friends on Snapchat, and are developed around a uniquely designed AR filter. One of the Snappables games introduced at launch encouraged users to open their month to “catch” eggs that were augmented onto the Snap screen.
In other AR ad news from Snap, its Lenses ad format will now be available to purchase on its self-serve ad manager tool starting today. Snap first introduced sponsored Lenses for Snapchat in October 2015, They’re expensive — Snap sells them on an effective CPM basis for $8 to $20, which means that companies pay $8 to $20 per 1,000 impressions. But, during Snap’s first quarter earnings call, chief strategy officer Imran Khan said that the number of Lenses Snap sold increased by 16 percent year-over-year. The outlet Digiday spoke with ad buyers back in December, who said that Snapchat was pitching sponsored lenses on the basis of the company’s belief that “AR is the next internet.”
Snap is also testing out new shoppable formats for Snap Ads and Story ads, which will now include a tappable product catalog that can take users to the web pages for multiple products for one company. A Snap spokesperson said this new ad format will roll out more widely later summer. In May, Snap introduced Shoppable AR features for sponsored lenses, including a “shop now” button that could direct users to the company’s website or bring them to an app install page. The company didn’t give a specific reason why it’s testing out this format, but the product catalog is much more noticeable than the simple “shop now” button. Snap got into the ecommerce game itself recently, launching a merchandise store that lives inside Snapchat’s discover section.