Snap Debuts Ad-Buying Platform

Lately, Facebook has been copying many of Snap’s more popular features. Turning the tables slightly, Snap just stole a page from Facebook’s playbook with the launch of a new self-service ad-buying platform.

Unveiled on Thursday, Snapchat Ad Manager should make it easier for brands to buy ads on the self-described “camera company.”

With Ad Manager, Snap partners can choose from all of its existing formats, and then target their ads to specific demographics.

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For Snap, this is just the latest move to better monetize its maturing network.

Among other efforts, it recently launched an “Engagement Audiences” initiative, which invites brands to target those users who previously interacted with their ads on the app.

For example, a brand can now can hit audiences who have already interacted with their Lens or Geofilter with a fresh Snap Ad campaign.

The point is to help advertisers reach consumers more likely to be in the “consideration stage” -- or “mid-funnel” -- because they have already shown an interest in their brand.

According to Snap, this sort of offering is not “retargeting” as it is commonly known. Rather, it’s engagement targeting all within Snapchat -- rather than involving outside Web sites or data.

Since its debut at the end of 2016, Snap also continues to roll out “goal-based bidding” for installs. Per the program, advertisers can “bid for installs,” which means that buyers can optimize for the lowest cost per install by showing ads to users most likely to install the app.

This form of targeting is done via Snap’s auction, while brands are still billed on impressions.

Over the past year, Snapchat has secured its spot as a top app. According to comScore, the popular service officially joined the ranks of the Top 10 most popular apps in late 2016.

“Snapchat … went from being a very popular app among the younger demographics to being one of the most popular apps among the general population,” Adam Lella, senior analyst at comScore, recently told MediaPost.

Critically, Snapchat’s general popularity has yet to undercut its status among Millennials, according to comScore’s 2017 Cross-Platform Future in Focus report.

At the end of 2016, a whopping 78% of U.S. consumers ages 18-to-24 -- and 48% of those 25-to-34 -- were using Snapchat.

By Snap’s own estimate, 41% of U.S. adults ages 18-to-34 check out Snapchat every day.

Worldwide, Snapchat Discover has now surpassed 150 million daily active users.

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