Similar to their popular Geofilters, Geostickers are only active when you're in a certain city or region - at present, Geostickers are only available in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, Honolulu, London, Sydney, São Paulo, Paris, and Riyadh. This is part of the Paris Geostickers collection above.
To activate the new option, you need to have location services enabled - Snapchat can then work out where you are and give you access to the relevant content.
San Francisco Geostickers (image via TechCrunch)
And while the option, in itself, is relatively small, it may actually be more valuable that you might think for the fast-growing social app.
First, there's the potential popularity of the offering - according to Snapchat, "a single national sponsored Geofilter typically reaches 40% to 60% of daily Snapchatters" in the U.S., which, considering the app has 150 million daily active users (close to half of them based in America), is a lot of people. Those numbers underline the popularity of their existing location-based functionality, and while Snapchat hasn't provided any definitive stats on how often Geofilters are used (when announcing the addition of paid Geofilters back in February, Snapchat noted that "every day, Snaps overlaid with Geofilters are viewed hundreds of millions of times"), those in the know estimate that Geofilters are applied to more than a million Snaps sent every day. And as such, adding more tools to this offering make logical sense.
But then there's also the data element.
One of the biggest knocks on Snapchat as a marketing platform has been that all their information is, by design, temporary, and they don't have the data capacity of Facebook, or even Twitter, to use in their ad targeting. But the platform has slowly been building in more data tools and capacity to help them track relevant information in order to refine their ad options - they recently even added a tool which you can use to download all the data that Snapchat has on you and your on-platform activities.
But in order to keep driving up Snapchat's business value, the more data the better - adding more location based tools, which prompt users to enable location services, could give boost the app's data banks.
More location info will then make it easier for Snapchat to implement their coming ad products, including one which will reportedly use a combination of image recognition and location tracking to serve users relevant ads.
As per a patent for the option filed by Snapchat last year:
"For example, a photograph including an object recognized as a restaurant may result in the user being presented with photo filters that overlay a menu of the restaurant on the photograph."
The accuracy of such a system is improved by location tracking, giving the algorithm another data point to confirm that the establishment or object it's identified in the image is correct. Location data may also enable Snapchat to implement the same system with less recognition accuracy - someone taking a photo of any coffee cup, not just in your establishment, within a certain radius of your café could be targeted with ads or offers, for instance.
In addition to this, The Information has reported that Snapchat's also working on another ad option which would enable users to scan in QR codes posted anywhere (movie posters, in-store ads, product packaging) in order to 'unlock' exclusive content and offers within the app. And while QR codes aren't necessarily new, Snapchat's looking to bring a fresh perspective to the option - and again, adding in an additional element like location could play a big role in such refinement.
So while adding in a couple of location activated pictures may seem like a small thing, there could be more to it than you'd think. And given how much effort Facebook is putting into trying to reduce Snapchat's impact, you can bet the app is onto something - why else would Facebook be so concerned with trying to keep users from migrating their interactions to the ephemeral content app?
Snapchat's Geostickers are now available in the locations noted above.