Snapchat unveiled a closer partnership with Tinder—that enables the sharing of its videos with the dating app—a big push into games, and a new ad network at its first partner summit.
One of the most important developments to come out of the Snap Partner Summit in Los Angeles on Thursday was the Snap Audience Network, which will deliver ads to apps outside of Snapchat. The company was short on details, however, as to the type of targeting that would be available and what partners would be first to adopt it.
Snapchat did say it was recruiting apps to sign up for the network, which will deliver the company’s signature vertical video ads to the partner apps when it is up and running.
The network could be successful if there is transparency—disclosure to the advertisers about where their ads run—says Brain Wieser, global president of business intelligence at GroupM.
Also, he says, Snapchat needs to fill its own ad inventory before expanding outside its walls. “Ad networks make sense when you have unsold inventory or to alleviate price pressure,” Wieser says.
“We work with many brands looking for ways to take what’s working on Snap and apply it in other apps to expand their reach,” adds Aaron Goldman, CMO of 4C, an advertising technology platform that helps brands buy on Snapchat. The network would help when brands reach frequency caps, he says, that is, hitting the limit of how many times they can show an individual ad repeatedly on Snapchat.
Snapchat also announced at the summit that video Stories would appear on partner apps like Tinder and Houseparty. So, daters on Tinder, for instance, could share video Stories from Snapchat on their profiles.
The new tools represent an evolution of Snapchat’s developer platform, released last summer, which for the first time allowed partners to integrate its camera and video technology. Snapchat is looking to broaden its reach with developers and advertisers, giving consumers more activities when they are inside its app and more places to connect with its content outside.
Snap Games also debuted at the event. Partners such as Zynga, Spry Fox, PikPok and Tiny Royale are developing new titles for the mobile gaming hub. Snapchat also developed its own game, “Bitmoji Party.”
There will be commercials in the game section, and developers will get a cut of the ad revenue.
“I like the idea of ads as in-game rewards or incentives,” Goldman says. “It should make brands a more welcome presence in the experience.”
Lens creators, who are some of Snapchat’s most committed users, were given new help, as well. The creators, who build augmented reality filters for their fans on Snapchat will have new profile pages inside the app to promote the Lenses. Until now, Lens creators could only display their augmented reality inventions on a desktop site run by Snapchat, and fans would have to visit the site to get a code to unlock Lenses for use in the app.
Snapchat has been promising to give more support for months to these creators, whether that’s new design tools or connections to brands to sell their services. Recently, some of the Lens creators have said they have seen more activity from Snapchat on their behalf, even arranging deals for them to design augmented reality for brands. Some have reported getting paid, too.
Discovery of the lenses has been one of the creators’ biggest gripes.
“We’ll be able to create a fan base with our Lenses,” says Cyrene Quiamco, a creator known as CyreneQ. “Before we would just get millions of views on Lenses and no one can ever find any of our work again. So with profiles, subscriptions is nice.”