As Snapchat continues on its mission to find more ways to generate revenue, the platform is this week launching a new Creative Partner program to help advertisers connect with AR experts for Lens campaigns.
As explained by Snap:
"We're announcing the launch of a Lens Creative Partners program specific to building AR Lenses for brands. This group of certified creators spans large agencies and expert individuals who have been building engaging and immersive AR Lenses for Snap."
The initial collection of Lens Partners includes more than 30 certified creators - TechCrunch reports that the largest number of these providers are located within the U.S., followed by the U.K., then Canada and Australia.
To gain Lens certification, Snap says that creators need to be both experienced in developing quality AR, and to have completed a "rigorous course about the development process, creative best practices, ad policies and buy models of sponsored AR Lenses on Snapchat". In other words, Snap's saying that these partners know what they're doing - you can see a full listing of Snap partner businesses here.
The idea is that this will encourage further AR campaign spend. While Snap Lenses are popular, they likely seem beyond the technical capacity of most advertisers, despite Snap opening up its Lens Studio tool to all last year.
By teaming up with an approved creative partner, many more brands will be able to utilize the option - if you've ever thought about using Snap Lenses in an ad campaign previously, but dismissed the possibility, now might be your chance.
And there is a lot of potential there. According to data from Snap Inc., one in three of its 186 million daily active users use Lenses for an average of three minutes each. That's a lot of engagement - if you're looking to reach a younger audience, and you're not sure how to connect via regular Snaps, investing in an effective Lens campaign could be a great way in.
Snap itself still has other issues to deal with, but its business process does appear to be improving. That could lead to more opportunities for marketers in future, and with Snap still holding a significant amount of influence among younger audiences, it's worth factoring into your planning, if that's part of your target market.
There are further questions about the company's leadership, and what that means for the future of the app, but there are also opportunities for those who can get it right.
May be worth consideration in your 2019 strategic plan.