- Snapchat is lifting the limit on video ads to three minutes from 10 seconds, giving marketers a chance to tell a longer brand story in the image-messaging app, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. Snapchat will still let app users skip past ads they don't want to watch, leaving the user experience (UX) unchanged.
- Snapchat also changed the six-second commercials that appear in its streamed shows, such as the Snap Originals in the app's Discover tab for professionally produced content. The unskippable commercials can now be swiped by Snapchat users to see a mobile website, long-form video or camera attachment. Previously, such interactivity was only available in video ads elsewhere in the app.
- Snapchat's new Goal-Based Bidding lets advertisers target viewers who watch 15-second videos. The company said commercials sold in auction have CPMs of $10 to $11 and an average of cost per completed view (CPCV) of 1 cent. Snap timed the announcements with the Advertising Week conference this week in New York.
Snapchat's changes to its ad formats aim to give marketers more flexibility with their video inserts, while also maintaining the user experience for its 203 million daily users. A three-minute skippable ad gives users the flexibility to avoid it, but also gives marketers a chance to engage people who are interested in hearing more about a product or service. That means movie studios, as one example, can run a full film trailer instead of a 10-second ad that requires Snapchat users to swipe up to see the whole preview.
The expanded interactivity of six-second commercials is an important feature for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands whose marketing goals not only include brand awareness, but also immediate sales. Snapchat also announced a fresh slate of Snap Originals shows that could increase engagement with the app and allow for more advertising opportunities. Similarly, Snapchat recently let users create shareable images that appear three-dimensional, in another effort to distinguish its app from Facebook and its Instagram platform.
Snapchat's expanded ad formats come as the company seeks to increase its appeal among major advertisers, many of which have avoided placing ads on the platform, as a recent study suggested. More than three-quarters (76%) of advertising professionals said they hadn't advertised on Snapchat, investment bank RBC found in its most recent survey of Madison Avenue executives. The finding suggested that Snap needs to boost efforts to educate advertisers about the platform, which has a desirable demographic of young adults and teens. The company estimates that 75% of U.S. consumers ages 13 to 34 are active on Snapchat.