- Snapchat added a feature to its mobile app yesterday that lets U.S. smartphone users create and submit custom geofilters, the digital overlays that rely on GPS to show where a picture was taken, according to a statement by the company. Snapchat introduced custom geofilters in February, but users had to create them on the website version of its studio.
- Snapchat, which has about 255 million monthly average users, offers the custom geofilters starting at $5.99. The price depends on the size of the region, the demand for the location and the duration of the geofilter, which can range from an hour up to 90 days, the company said.
- To create a geofilter, users tap "On-Demand Geofilters" in settings for the new mobile studio. Snapchatters can choose a theme for the filter, such as a wedding, engagement, party, vacation or graduation ceremony. The app can also add customized text, bitmojis and stickers as decorations, according to CNBC. After specifying the time and location for the filter, users submit the design for approval. Payments are handled through in-app purchasing on iPhones and Androids.
Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, is continually looking for ways to monetize its service, which has evolved from its humble beginning as a tool to share photos that disappear after a few seconds. By putting the creative tools to create custom geofilters in its mobile app, the company can reach a bigger audience of consumers and small businesses that want to create geofilters for special events, but don't have a huge budget. The additional revenue stream will likely help to diversify the company's revenue in the same way that Facebook and Twitter accept smaller payments for promotional space.
This new geofilter feature comes two weeks after Snapchat introduced products to make its ad delivery platform more useful to mobile marketers. The self-serve Ad Manager tool, which was announced in May, lets customers buy ad space with credit cards in the U.S. The prices are set by auction and allow small businesses to advertise on the platform, according to CNBC. Like the new geofilter feature, the company still reviews all ads for quality.
Snap says the in-app custom geofilters are designed mostly for regular Snapchatters, while businesses should continue to use the web-based studio option. Because geofilters can cover a range of 20,000 square feet to 50 million square feet (about 1.8 square miles), they can be created for everything from a house party to a major sporting event. While the creation tool is only available in the U.S., the company plans to add additional markets over time, per Snap's statement.