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Snapchat has created what some may consider a new age of digital advertising. Snapchat Discover creates an immersive experience for a viewer with animation, full screen graphics and constant movement; there is nothing static about it.

With every update, Snapchat’s advertising takes a bigger role. For a little more insight on exactly how large advertising on Snapchat Discover has gotten, let’s take a look at a brief timeline.

  • In the summer of 2011, the idea for an app that sent “disappearing pictures” was created.
  • Fast forward to fall of 2011, when the idea of a disappearing photo app emerged into Snapchat. Users started flocking to the app by the thousands.
  • When Snapchat first came out with the option to post a “story” in October 2013, it was one simple page featuring the stories of your friends in order of the time they posted. This created a “timeline” feature, which made it (even more) interactive and appealing to the younger generation.snapchat-1
  • In January 2015, Snapchat created Snapchat Discover, a constant, 24-hour refreshed channel guide that served up disappearing content alongside brand advertisements. There were originally 12 media partners, but that number has almost doubled.snapchat-2
  • Since then, Snapchat stories have grown into an entire entity on their own. Other social media outlets attempted to compete with the innovative idea, but essentially nobody has been able to recreate the constant change and excitement over the Snapchat Story/Discover feature. Specifically, Facebook tried to create almost the exact same layout as the Snapchat Story, Facebook Poke. Ultimately, it failed. Nice try though, Zuckerberg!facebookpoke
  • In June 2015, McDonald’s became the first company to pay Snapchat to run a geofilter advertising campaign. This means that anytime someone is at any of the 14,000 McDonald’s locations, they will be able to put the image of fries and a burger around them (featuring the McDonald’s logo, of course).snapchat-3
  • In September 2015, Snapchat introduced the facial recognition aspect of the app, which has also taken on a form of advertising. For example, when a heavily advertised movie is about to come out, Snapchat will feature a 4-7 day “sponsored lens” featuring a character or scene from the movie. In October 2015, the first promotional movie advertisement was feature: The Peanuts Movie.snapchat-4

Just 18 months ago, Snapchat had virtually no ad business to speak of. Since then, the company has hired almost three times the staff it had. Snapchat also credits its digital predecessors (Facebook, Google, AOL, etc.) and the way these media outlets have educated the market on the value of digital media.

The innovative approach to advertising that Snapchat has taken on has ultimately created a powerhouse app, and an overall entertainment empire. Some are wondering if new advertising ventures (such as the one that Snapchat has put together) are going to totally wipe out traditional advertising all together. If Snapchat continues in the direction it is currently headed, it has the potential to permanently digitize the media advertising market.

Just when we think Snapchat has thought of everything, a new update is ready to install. The options for this ever-growing app are endless. It has us wondering where it will be on the advertising spectrum 365 (short) days from now!


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