Getting Hands On With Snapchat's On-Demand Geofilters

Last week, Snapchat rolled out On-Demand Geofilters to all users for a small fee. Given the popularity of filters that were previously limited to brands and supporting iconic locations and marquee events, the new product is a natural evolution that allows for further monetization opportunities. At first glance, I thought it was a really cool update and was excited to test it out.

And the timing was perfect. My father turned 60 on Wednesday, and our family and friends were gathering in Louisville, KY Saturday night to celebrate. As a digital marketer himself, I figured my dad would appreciate the gesture. After doing some research, I enlisted the services of Hill Holliday motion graphics specialist Marcio Lima to design the filter. I provided Marcio with copy, specs and some Facebook photos for inspiration.

With the creative ready (props to Marcio, who’s unbelievably talented), it was time to secure a location and submit the filter to Snapchat for approval. The process was simple. It took about five minutes to book the location (Copper & Kings Distillery in Louisville) for the duration of the party from 7pm to 1am. The user zooms in using Google Maps before being prompted to create a shape for the requested area. Less than two hours later, the design and geo-fence were approved. The cost? $5.97.

Fast forward to Saturday night, and outside of a few dead spots in the venue, everything went off without issue. The filter was a big hit with guests, and my dad really got a kick out of it. 

I was satisfied with the process, price and outcome. Snapchat has introduced yet another innovative product inspired by insights based on real consumer behavior, and I strongly recommend for others to try it.

I was fortunate to have a professional create the art, and most users won't. Snapchat provides templates to design against in Photoshop, but the company would be wise to make it even easier for users to customize their own filter. If that happens, in my opinion this feature will catch on at scale, and the revenue can be significant with a $5 base fee and increased prices when users expand the distance and duration.

So get ready to see custom filters at upcoming parties, weddings (wedding hashtags might not be enough anymore!) and other personal events. Adding value to your audience and monetizing is a powerful combo. 

Bravo, Snapchat.

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