Snap Inc.’s first Partner Summit took place on April 4th in California, where the Snapchat parent company released a variety of features, products and updates to its platform.
Details and Implications:
Snap Games: A new gaming platform coming to Snapchat, which will feature both original gaming content as well as third-party content from popular developers like Game Closure, PikPok, Spry Fox, Zeptolab, Zynga and more. Snapchat has already released a handful of titles including Bitmoji Party, Alphabear Hustle, Snake Squad. Users will be able to access and play Snap Games for free, however they will be forced to watch an unskippable six-second advert, which Snap will share revenues with the game developers.
Snap Kit: Over 200 apps have already integrated with its Snap Kit allowing brands and advertisers to bring Snapchat’s most popular features to their apps. Essentially users can create unique Snaps using various tools built by developers, brands and advertisers. New offerings to the Snap Kit include App Stories, a tool that allows users to share content from their Snapchat camera directly to other apps like Tinder, Houseparty and Adventure Aide. Creative Kit allows user to share custom stickers and content from service platforms like Netflix, Breaker, Anchor, GoFundMe, VSCO and more directly into Snap. Bitmoji Kit will allow devices like Fitbit and platforms like Venmo to support Bitmojis. Last but not least, Ad Kit, which will give developers access to the Snap Audience Network and bring full-screen portrait mode video ad formats to their apps, reaching both Snapchat users and non-users.
Audience Network: Competing with Facebook’s Audience Network, Snap’s new Audience Network will arrive in the coming months and will allow advertisers to reach a larger group than they have advertising on Snapchat alone, especially since Snapchat’s userbase has been steady for the past two years with no growth. This new offering gives third-party app developers to fill inventory with ads and will be able to run full-screen portrait-mode video ads from Snapchat to their apps, which Snap will take a cut of the ad revenue. Snap Audience Network launched in the US on iOS platforms and will launch on Google’s Android later this year.
New Snap Originals: From docuseries and comedies to teen dramas and scripted shows, Snap Originals is back with a new lineup of programming. Like Stories, these Shows will play full-screen in portrait mode. Ten new shows will begin rolling out in May on the Discovery page. Production partners involved with these new shows include Bunim/Murray Productions, Dakota Pictures, New Form, and Bazelevs, to name a few. Similar to Snap Games, Snap will be monetising its original content with six-second, unskippable ads.
Lenses: Snapchat’s Lenses offering allows users to filter selfies and videos, play AR games with selfies and add 3D stickers to Snaps. Snapchat how now launched Creator Profiles to help Lens Creators show their work and learn about their audiences. In addition, users can use Lenses and the Snapchat camera to Scan their environment. Scanning math problems will give users the right answers. Scanning products will show users results on Amazon. A new update to Lenses is Landmarks. This will allow creators to transform iconic landmarks with Lenses that will appear when Snapchatters Scan landmarks.
With a steady user base that hasn’t been growing for the past two years, Snapchat’s inaugural Partner Summit gives users, shareholders and advertisers a reason to stay with the Platform and not necessarily within the platform. This allows advertisers to pay for a larger audience reach without that growing user base; users a new way to integrate Snap within lifestyle apps like Tinder and Venmo and shareholders a reason to keep investing with the platform. Though shares of Snap were up 1.1% following the Partner Summit, it will be interesting to see how these updates will impact its user base and the advertisers investing in Snap’s ad formats.