Snap to develop selfie drone, college content and better ad measurement
- Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, partnered with analytics firm Neustar to provide advertisers with data on the effect of ads like video Snap ads, lenses and filters, according to a statement by Neustar. The partnership will let brands measure, forecast and improve their advertising investments and identify their contribution to sales.
- On the content development front, Snap asked college newspapers to make stories for its Discover section, Business Insider reported. The stories are similar to the ones created by Discover publishers like The New York Times, BuzzFeed and Vice, but will be customized for individual college campuses. The stories were tested at UCLA, Stanford, Dartmouth and the University of Washington last spring, per Business Insider.
- Snap is said to be in talks to buy selfie-taking drone company Zero Zero Robotics. Snap reportedly bought Los Angeles-based drone maker Ctrl Me Robotics earlier this year and was contacted by China-based Zero Zero when it was looking for funding, according to the Verge, which also noted that Zero Zero CEO Meng Qiu Wang denied the news and Snap declined to comment.
Snap, whose stock reached a new low of $13.07 a share on Tuesday, is making moves on several fronts to appeal to advertisers and develop new technologies to enhance its core image-messaging features. The partnership with Neustar is intended to help show the value of Snapchat ads to advertisers and comes amid reports that some brands are choosing Instagram over Snapchat.
The effort to reach out to college publishers is in line with the push into news programming geared toward a more mobile-focused millennial audience. NBC News in July debuted the first daily news show on Snapchat's Discover platform to appeal to Snapchat's 18- to 24-year-old core audience. "Stay Tuned," the twice-daily program anchored by the news outlet's Gadi Schwartz and MSNBC reporter Savannah Sellers covers national and international news, politics and pop culture among other topics.
According to Nielsen data, the biggest drop in TV viewing last year was among teenagers, a key audience for Snapchat. They watched 13 hours and 54 minutes of traditional TV a week in Q4 2016, an 11% decline from the year before and a 38% drop from five years ago.
Buying a drone maker is risky for Snap, especially if the drone hardware doesn't enhance the app's user experience. Snap's picture-taking Spectacles are notable for their novelty, but so far hasn't driven much revenue for the company.
With its stock dragging at new post-IPO lows, Snap is under pressure to perform and innovate. Last month, an analyst at its lead investment bank Morgan Stanley chided the company for delays in rolling out an automated bidding platform for brands that want to buy ad space on the app. The technology likely won't be fully operational until the end of 2017 or early 2018, said Brian Nowak, an analyst at Morgan Stanley. Adding an affordable advertising platform for businesses of all sizes is a key way for Snap to contend with rivals like Facebook.