Snapchat's new map feature is very interesting, both to users and advertisers.
For users, the feedback is mixed. Some find the tool great for exploring events and locations around them.
"I love watching the stories from other countries on the Snapchat map." - Josie Wells (@JOZxo)
While others find it invasive.
"The new snapchat update with the map is so concerning. Make sure you put ghost mode up to keep your location unseen people..." - Jess Wragg ✌ (@Jess_World97)
Advertisers are less split.
The move can be seen as a large bet on location based advertising, a field that can be expected to grow exponentially on mobile - where Snapchat lives exclusively.
It's all part of a long term attempt to break up, and break into the mobile advertising duopoly owned by Facebook and Google. If Snapchat can successfully demonstrate an ability to show video ads with sound on, that are location based, they may be on to something.
Google has bet big on bottom of the funnel traffic. Their ads are shown to people searching with intent. Facebook, on the other hand, uses location based ads but can't guarantee an ads view quality unless clicked on. Few people will elect to turn the sound on to a video advertisement on their mobile phone, and this presents a challenge for Facebook. 95% of the video shown to users on Facebook is viewed with the sound off - that number for advertisements is even higher.
Snapchat faces less of a challenge in this regard. Snaps are viewed with the sound turned on already, meaning that advertisers can present their ads to a target audience with one less road block. If a user is interested in attending an event in Venice Beach, advertisers can reach that user by slipping ads into stories in that area. The total volume of viewers may be lower on Snapchat than Facebook, but the engagement could be much higher.
It will be worth exploring in the long run. While Snapchat has a huge uphill battle facing it, it continues to innovate. Forward thinking in the location based advertising business could be enough to start moving the needle at Snap.
If you're looking into Snapchat as a form of advertising, here are some tips to up your engagement.