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Snapchat's New On-Demand Geo-Filters and How Brands Can Use Them

Snapchat has today announced the launch of On-Demand Geofilters, enabling anyone to login and create their own short-term filter around the country.

First off, the basics - what is a geofilter? Here’s how Snapchat defines it:

"Geofilters are special overlays for Snaps that can only be accessed in certain locations. Artists and designers are encouraged to use this tool to bring their one-of-a-kind style to the Snapchat community. Simply choose the geographic area you want your filter to be available in and upload an image asset. All images must be original artwork and have to be approved by the Snapchat team."

So, if you’re in a certain location — like in Times Square or in Las Vegas or at the London Eye — while you’re using Snapchat, certain geofilters become available for you to use. They could be created by Snapchat itself, by the community or by brands (in a limited beta but available more widely later this year). For users, there’s delight in discovering these overlays and in using them, since they can only be used in select locations.

Snapchat's New On-Demand Geo-Filters and How Brands Can Use Them | Social Media TodayFrom Snapchat’s blog:

"On-Demand Geofilters let you create and publish a Geofilter for your party, wedding, business, or any other place or event. It’s a fun way to help your friends or customers decorate their Snaps, wherever they are!

How it works:

  • Design — Use your favorite image editor to create a filter. We’ve also provided some templates that are compatible with Photoshop and Illustrator to get you started 
  • Map — Pick a geofence where your filter will appear, then choose the time and dates you want your Geofilter to be available.
  • Buy — Submit your Geofilter. Our team will quickly review it and, assuming all is well, get it up and running.

You can buy On-Demand Geofilters for an event or even an entire block — for an hour or up to thirty days! Pricing starts at $5, and depends on a few factors including, among others, the size of your geofence and the time period you’ve chosen. On-Demand Geofilters are available now in the US, UK, and Canada."

While Snapchat themselves won’t design them for you, Delmondo’s team has designed more than 200 geofilters and can help create them for you.

Deciding if On-Demand Geofilters are right for you

So how can brands start to think about geofilters? When determining whether your idea is a good fit for one, ask yourself these four questions:

1. Is It Local?

Does the branded geofilter tie into the surroundings where it’s activated? Snapchat has invested a ton of time enabling these geofilters, and collecting location filters is almost like a sport now.

Maybe a brand like MasterCard, which promotes its “Priceless Cities” concept on multiple social channels, might tie a branded geofilter into iconic locations around NYC for fans to Snap them and share with friends.

Snapchat's New On-Demand Geo-Filters and How Brands Can Use Them | Social Media TodayHow might a car brand like BMW use this ad type? Telling the stories of passion and exploration through the country’s winding roads while on a road trip could spark others to get out and share the places they could see themselves in a new BMW.

Snapchat's New On-Demand Geo-Filters and How Brands Can Use Them | Social Media Today

2. Is It Timely?

Snapchat content lasts only 24 hours, so it’s all about the now, putting content into an easy-to-share story, rooted in a place and time. For a company like Starbucks, perhaps a geofilter might only appear in the morning, so users could share their orders, or for a 6-hour window during a sponsored event.

Snapchat's New On-Demand Geo-Filters and How Brands Can Use Them | Social Media Today

3. Is It Interactive?

It’s not just about broadcasting stories. We see an opportunity for branded filters to become part of the one-to-one Snapchatting. The geofilters for Terminator and the GE Summer Solstice are creating these fun interactive assets for users to share with one another.

When thinking about interactivity, the speedometer feature that’s becoming popular came to mind. What if Nike knew the best running paths and served up a geofilter to share your run with if you hit a certain speed?

Snapchat's New On-Demand Geo-Filters and How Brands Can Use Them | Social Media Today

4. Will Anyone See It?

While it’s easy to log into Snapchat’s tool and buy a geofilter, there’s also a big question of discovery — when brands are paying for limited windows of content on the platform, you’ll want to let people know they’re there in short order. Here are a few tips to get your geofilters seen:

  • Use other social channels to promote that your geofilter is live.
  • Use Influencers to activate – encourage sharing by getting someone with a large audience to create content using the geofilters.
  • Incentivize your geofilters. Maybe you could get users to screenshot or download their snaps and submit them to win a prize?


For the audience of nearly 100 million daily active users on Snapchat who grew up with the Pokemon-driven “Gotta Catch Em’ All” mentality, this diverse mix of Snapchat-created, community-submitted and now brand-driven geofilters adds new tools for anyone who wants to customize their messages and stories.

That idea of personalization can’t be understated here. Snapchat’s filters, both branded and unbranded alike, are assets that enable someone to personalize their communications, not only publicly on Snapchat stories, but privately, too.

We like to think that geofilters shouldn’t have to just be some branded wrapper for photos and videos. As evidenced by some of the examples mentioned above, they can be fun and interactive and the future is bright for the brands who figure out how to creatively use them.

This post originally appeared on the Delmondo blog

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