Snapchat For Business: The World of 10 Second Ads

We’re sure that your familiar with Snapchat, or at least have heard of it. What began as an app designed for teenagers to send photos that only lasted for 10 seconds before disappearing has evolved into a social media marketing engine in just five short years. Although Snapchat began as a peer to peer app many companies are recognizing the power of this social media channel at connecting with people in unique and interesting ways. Snapchat truly has become the world of 10 second ads…….and filters.

How It All Began

In 2011, Snapchat was founded by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy after meeting one another at Stanford University. Snapchat originally began as app called Picaboo that was developed in the spring of 2011. The two desired to create a photo app where the photos would disappear after a short length of time. In July of 2011 the Picaboo app was launched in the iOS App Store to little hype. In September, Speigel and Murphy renamed the app to Snapchat and added the ability for people to add captions to their photos.  The pair decided to focus more on the app’s technological innovations rather than marketing the app itself.  In 2012, Snapchat was released on Android in the Google Play Store and in about a year of being on the market the more than 20 million snaps were being sent daily (or 25 snaps per second). By December, Snapchat users were sending more than 50 million snaps per day. In that same month the app rolled out the ability to record 10-second videos without having to change the camera mode as the record button was integrated directly with the photo button for extreme ease of use. In October of 2013, Snapchat launched “Stories” which allowed users to upload snaps to their profile daily that anyone could view for up to 24 hours.  Shortly after introducing Stories, Snapchat launched a chat feature where users could send messages to one another in a text-message like format where the text messages would disappear after a short period of time. October of 2014 saw the introduction of Snap Ads where ads for businesses started appearing in users’ “Recent Updates” section of the app. 2015 saw the inclusion of “Discover” for businesses and lenses that allowed users to change their appearance in the app. 2016 saw large changes for Snapchat such as on-demand geofilters, a “Memories” function to save snaps from Stories, and auto-advancing after Snapchat Stories were played.

The Future of Snapchat

Beyond just the popular app Snapchat itself has evolved into a powerhouse social media company. In 2016, the company rebranded to call itself Snap, Inc., the parent company of Snapchat and Spectacles, sunglasses that can take snaps and record video for 360° viewing. In November, Snap, Inc. filed with the FTC for a $25 billion dollar Initial Public Offering (IPO) signaling to other major players in the tech world that Snap, Inc. is turning into a force to be reckoned with. Even though it’s only been five years for Snapchat the company is predicted to grow and gain advertising market share as more marketers continue to spend hefty budgets on social media advertising.

Spectacles Sunglasses

What Snapchat Means for Business?

As Snapchat continues to grow as a primary video based social media channel more and more marketers will be looking for ways to leverage the apps’ technology. Snap Ads will continue to grow as businesses can produce custom videos that can be snuck into ads that are displayed in-between different snap stories. Aside from just Snap Ads businesses have the power to create custom geofilters that can be promoted for people to use at events and in the general vicinity that organization is based in. Customer geofilters provide a fun way for people to interact with brands by “enhancing” their photo with the custom geofilter that other users are guaranteed to see. A single sponsored geofilter typically reaches 40-60 percent of daily snapchatters. Snapchat is now allowing businesses to create sponsored lenses that users can use in their photos to be creative and spread brand awareness of organizations to other users. However, the key to truly leveraging Snapchat as a marketing tool is through quality video content. In the next year alone more than 70% of the internet is expected to be used for just video alone and Snapchat is actively contributing to this statistic. As the old saying goes content truly is king. However, if you’re looking for an action plan to help your organization leverage Snapchat submit a service request, we’d love to help make your Snapchat videos go viral!

Snapchat Quick Facts

-158 million active daily users

-2.5 billion snaps per day

-18% of all US social media users use Snapchat

-9,000 snaps are sent every second


Nick Myers is the Managing Partner of RedFox Creative. For more information or to leave a comment send an email to

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