Snapchat's Invitation to Play

Snapchat may be a messaging service, but it’s built much of its reputation outside of its core user base on Lenses. Even the occasional Snapchat user loves to put Lenses to use and… then post them to Facebook. But that aside, Lenses have been a big success for Snapchat. 

Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 12.03.39 PM.png

It’s most recent update to Lenses was World Lenses, which let users place 3D augmented reality objects in the real world.  Last week, we saw the evolution of World Lenses when Snapchat opened the doors for brands to create and sponsor World Lenses for Snapchat users to place in their Snaps. Already, brands including Warner Brothers for Blade Runner and Bud Light have taken part with sponsored World Lenses of their own.

World Lenses create new dynamic for marketers to get in front of their audiences in a way that has a degree of novelty and attention-grabbing value.

Bright Spot for Snapchat

Lenses are one of the few areas Snapchat has a leg up on the competition. Sure, everyone from Apple to Facebook is getting into the AR game, but Snapchat users are already putting AR to use every single day. Its users alone have played with the puppy face lens for a “collective 7,000 years of time,” and Snapchat’s Dancing Hotdog received more than 2 billion views.

Potential for Brands

Sponsored World Lenses are only going to be available to a handful of brands with significant budgets for a period of time, but outside of novelty, they illustrate a combination of factors brands should look for in their other marketing efforts:

  1. Attention - People look at these assets for a considerable period of time, and not only do they look at them; they opt in to view these lenses. They’re content people want to see.
  2. Play - Users take these assets and make them their own. They actively have to play with the assets and customize them in their own, unique way, which creates a significant level of engagement.
  3. Cache - Users end the experience with unique creations that reflect them and their creativity as much as they reflect the brand being featured. Users have an asset they want to share.

A Combination to Strive For

What Snapchat’s done better than almost every competitor is it’s invited users to play. Snapchat is purely fun. Everything about it is meant to spark creativity, laughter and joy. That’s not the case with Facebook, Pinterest and certainly not, Twitter. 

Snapchat’s injection of fun has set it apart in the marketplace, and that element of fun has created something that its users seek out, want to spend time with and ultimately, want to share. That’s a combination marketers would be wise to pursue on Snapchat and beyond.