Snap Launches Ad Manager, Touts Auction Buying

Appealing to small and medium-sized businesses, Snap officially launched its self-service Ad Manager on Monday.

The new platform boasts several features tailored for smaller brands, including auction buying and the ability to pay for ads with a credit card rather than a credit line. In Ad Manager, there is also no minimum dollar amount that businesses must spend.

As part of a broader ad push, Snap also unveiled a Certified Partners program -- offering advertisers help in planning, executing and improving their Snapchat ad buys.

With Certified Partners, the idea is to encourage brands to create more video ads, which have historically been harder to create than banner and text ads.

To participate in Snap’s Certified Partners program, the social giant is requiring “partners” to participate in training, which encompass best practices and execution strategies.

As of Monday, partners include SocialCode, Adaptly, Unified, Hyfn etc., Resolution Media, OrionCKB, AdvertiseMint, Booyah Advertising, and PMG Worldwide.

Next month, Snap plans to start rolling out Snap Publisher -- a tool for brands to create ads in less than two minutes. Among other features, the new browser-based tool will let brands trim horizontal videos into vertical mobile videos, access an existing library of ad templates, and add motion to still photos and images.

Industry watchers applauded the new additions to Snap's ad platform on Monday.

“Snap Publisher is a very smart move,” said George Levin, CEO of ad tech firm Getintent. “Creative production is a surprisingly big problem in programmatic, especially for video … Very often it's the main bottleneck.”

With an eye on user experience, Snap says it will review all ads uploaded via Ad Manager before they go live. The self-described “camera company” is also reserving the right to “weed out” underperforming ads.

With Ad Manager, businesses also get access to a “Help Center,” chat support and a mobile dashboard with which they can track their campaigns on the go.

Just months after its IPO, Snap’s honeymoon with investors and analysts appears to have ended.

In May, the company released a not-so-stellar debut earnings report, which was then followed by research suggesting that Snapchat’s growth is already sagging.

Standing tall, however, Snap continues to tout its distinct attributes. Suggesting a highly engaged community, for instance, more than 60% of Snapchat’s daily users create content every day, according to internal data.

Portraying quite an intimate experience, meanwhile, Snap says that nearly 60% of Snapchat interactions occur between “close friends.”

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