- Snapchat, the image-messaging application with 178 million users, updated its sponsored lenses and filters with the addition of "Context Cards" that let advertisers show more information about their brands while giving viewers a chance to interact, per Business Insider. That means mobile marketers can use Snapchat for direct response ads that let users shop.
- Lionsgate, the film studio with sales of $941 million in Q2 2017, is the first brand to run a Context Card with a lens as part of its promotion for the release of "Wonder." Users who swipe up on the card see a web page where they can find local show times and buy tickets.
- Snapchat last month introduced Context Cards to provide more information about images shared by users. The cards can show detailed user reviews, directions, operating hours, phone numbers, ride-hailing options, reservations and Snaps from the same area posted by other users.
With the Context Cards update, Snapchat becomes more useful for advertisers that want to measure ROI and trigger a response, such as a click, website visit or direct purchase without a user ever leaving the app. Now, advertisers can also drive and track their ad spend, which was previously a major deterrent of the platform.
Snapchat's addition of Context Cards to sponsored lenses and filters is a step toward making the image-sharing app more transparent and useful to brands. In the past, Snapchat has shown advertisers how many people interacted with a lens and for how long. The company also has boasted that its platform is more engaging than TV and other media, especially for younger audiences that are more attached to their mobile devices.
Snapchat led the way in creating augmented reality (AR) lenses and filters that have the potential to go viral, such as its dancing hot dog character that was a social-media sensation earlier this year. But the novelty was bound to wear off, especially as other apps like Facebook and Instagram copied those features, which is forcing Snapchat to innovate and differentiate itself from other platforms while luring advertisers.
Parent company Snap needs to develop more ways to monetize its platform, especially after reporting a loss of $443 million in Q3 2017 and disappointing user growth. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel is optimistic about the potential for Context Cards. Last week, he told investors that the cards are "the next generation" of its AR products.
"Context Cards provide a unique opportunity to translate what you see on the screen into action — whether online or in the world around you," he said.