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Snap announces tests of sponsored links in My AI, new ad products for Spotlight and Stories

Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, recently announced new ad products and features aimed at helping marketers better target their audience. The company introduced new ad products during the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s NewFronts presentation, which it hopes will drive revenue increases by providing more ad space for marketers. The announcement comes after the company’s first-quarter sales fell, despite a 15% year-over-year increase in Snapchat users to 383 million.

One of the key features announced by Snap is the use of its new AI tool, My AI, to place sponsored links in front of users. My AI can suggest Lenses, Places from Snap Map, and send a generative Snap back to Snapchat+ subscribers, in addition to having text-based conversations with users. Snap has begun testing sponsored links in conversations with My AI that would connect users with partners relevant to their conversation. For instance, if a Snapchat user asked where to have dinner, My AI could return a link sponsored by a local restaurant or a food delivery app. Snap says it’s still in an early experimental stage with this feature and wants to make sponsored links as useful as possible.

Snap’s new ad products include the option to reserve the first video ad seen in Snapchat’s Friend Stories and the ability to advertise within its TikTok-like Spotlight feature. Spotlight, Snap’s TikTok clone, launched in 2020, and during last week’s earnings, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said Spotlight now reaches 350 million monthly active users, up 170% year-over-year. Now, the company is opening up Spotlight to global advertisers.

Another product announced by Snap is “First Story,” a takeover ad product that allows advertisers to reserve the first Snap Ad that users would see. The company compared the product, which it said was in high demand, to existing offerings like First Commercial and First Lens, which also let advertisers reserve the first spot in other parts of Snapchat’s app. The First Story ad placements are launching today globally, and Warner Bros. is the first client.

Snap also announced that it’s making it easier for brands to work with Snap creators through Snap Star Collab Studio in the U.S. The new Studio will aid partnerships by connecting brands with preferred production partners to create and execute their sponsored Stories and creative. Over the course of the year, Snap will also expand its API and introduce additional tools for paid amplification, which will help brands’ creative reach more users.

Snap’s new ad products come at a crucial time for the company, as its first-quarter sales fell despite an increase in users. By opening up new ad products to marketers, Snap hopes to drive revenue increases as it finds more places to insert ads into its mobile app. While many of the ad slots announced by Snap are more traditional placements, the use of AI to place sponsored links in front of users is a standout feature that could help the company attract more advertisers. However, Snap notes that it’s still in an early experimental stage with this feature and wants to make sponsored links as useful as possible.

By: Mis Sarah

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