SPRINGBOX / Insights

Social Trend Report: Snapchat's API arrives and brands experiment with ad features

by Springbox Social Team, October 24, 2016


A Look into Snapchat’s API and Ad Features

For a while, Snapchat’s application programming interface (API) was a mystery, but the company’s ad targeting capabilities have given select agencies and companies a look behind the curtain. With the latest features, advertisers have the ability to reach audiences in between stories, A/B test multiple pieces of creative and target certain audiences based on specific user information, such as previously viewed content and interests. In addition to Snapchat’s native tools, agencies are building their own to provide real-time stats on campaign performance, including impressions, swipes and time spent on an ad.

Why do we care?

As the story craze continues, all eyes are on Snapchat. For brands that can afford Snapchat advertising, these features are new enough that the best approach to content is currently experimentation. Companies like Nordstrom, which recently ran a campaign for Beyonce’s Ivy Park activewear line that was targeted toward “arts and culture and music” interests, are still learning about Snapchat’s audience and how they’re responding to ads. But the good part about Snapchat’s ad tools is that they give users the ability to provide quick changes to a campaign, based on the data coming in.


Instagram Introduces Explore Tab for Stories

Even after hitting 100 million daily active users, Instagram hopes to boost views on its Stories feature with a new “Explore” tab. That means, in addition to browsing photos and videos posted by strangers, users can now view Stories personalized to their interests.

Why do we care?

While Snapchat has moved towards prioritizing content from friends, Instagram Stories is going the opposite direction, which might give brands more of an incentive to use the feature. Assuming that Instagram isn’t differentiating between accounts, advertisers using Instagram Stories organically may get more screentime and reach than they would by doing the same on Snapchat.


Pinterest Forms Pin Collective

Pinterest is following in the footsteps of other social networks with its Pin Collective, a group of the best content creators, including publishers and production shops, that the platform hopes to connect with larger brands. With end-to-end production capabilities, these partners will help advertisers create larger initiatives — for example, grocery company Albertsons recently worked with stylist Monica Lavin to produce Pins for its holiday campaign featuring pumpkin recipes.

Why do we care?

Pinterest’s move is just another indication of the power of popular content creators. Similar to YouTube’s Partner Program, the Pin Collective is a good way for brands to reach and speak to the platform’s niche audience with the help of well-known creators. But like many advertising tools (Snapchat’s ad targeting, for instance), it may not prove accessible to all brands. And in that case, those who can afford it will have an upper hand.


What’s New with Ya Fave Platforms


Just like every other week, Facebook has released a number of updates in its attempt to take over the world. In the realm of e-commerce, the platform now allows users to make purchases straight from a business’ page. Customers will have the ability to order food, request appointments, get service quotes or even buy movies and event tickets — all without leaving the social network.

Additionally, Facebook Live will roll out scheduled broadcasts and notifications as well as pre-broadcast lobbies for verified pages. And for offline activities, Facebook users can send recommendations to traveling friends and keep track of them in a map.

Why do we care?

Facebook’s latest updates just serve to make life easier for the platform’s consumers. For brands, that’ll mean keeping up with their audience’s needs as Facebook continues to make strides in e-commerce and video (especially live video). As for recommendations, brands may not see an immediate impact, but perhaps there’s something to take advantage of, especially for those aiming to execute authentic local campaigns.




In REI’s “Access Outdoors” campaign, the brand is targeting multicultural millennials in Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles with city-specific 360-degree videos on Facebook. The brand’s approach remains authentic as each video documents local artists working on installations within each city, focusing on bridging art and the outdoors, and has reached more than 1.5 million users on the platform.


The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the largest museum in the western United States, is taking its latest collaboration with OhMyDisney to Snapchat. The idea is that LACMA will grant collaborators access to its collection to create content based on pop culture references, filters, memes and doodles to retell classic Disney stories — the first of which is Beauty and the Beast. The museum’s humourous approach to art history already speaks to OhMyDisney’s contemporary and culturally savvy audience and the project will occur on a bi-monthly basis.


While media on the web has become increasingly visual, podcasts have become a popular form, too. And that’s exactly what InterContinental hopes to leverage with its new series, “Stories of the InterContinental Life.” Each episode explores fascination, worldliness and empathy, with expert guests highlighting a different city. The hotel chain isn’t the first brand to jump in on podcasts, but it hopes to enter conversations in a culturally relevant way and drive consideration. In addition to the podcast series, a microsite will include short videos and cartoons to help inspire travel in its audience.

Topics: Social, Snapchat, Social Media, Social Media News, Facebook, Platform Updates, Social Media Marketing, Pinterest