Thursday, December 31, 2015

Snapchat Will Try To Be Huge in 2016

Snapchat is gearing up for a huge year in 2016 — and some analysts think it might come at the expense of Twitter.

That's according to MEC global head of social for North America Noah Mallin, who was speaking during Nomura's fourth-quarter conference call on trends in internet advertising (for which Nomura provided us the transcript).

MEC is a big buyer of ads on social media and works for clients such as Marriott, GoDaddy, and Renault.

Mallin said Snapchat was "the one to watch in 2016," thanks to the way it changed its offering to advertisers several times throughout this past year.

"They seemed to finally solidify what they're offering to advertisers and tying together the video product, which is very exciting," he added.

While this is the opinion of only one ad buyer, for Mallin to predict Snapchat as "the one to watch" shows how far the photo-sharing app has come in a matter of months.

In an email sent to subscribers, Jessica Lessin, the founder and editor of The Information, predicted that Snapchat would go public this year before other huge tech companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and Dropbox, even though "the company's ad based business model has yet to prove it can scale, let alone be profitable."

That could change in 2016.

Snapchat began selling ads only in October 2014. When Business Insider pooled opinion about Snapchat from the advertising community back in July, many ad execs described a frustrating experience. Demand was outweighing the supply they were receiving from the Snapchat sales team, and some advertising and agency execs were unconvinced of the app's merit because of a lack of data and case studies.

But Snapchat is getting there. While it has yet to offer the granular level of data about the effectiveness of its ads comparable to the likes of Facebook, Google, and Twitter, the company has been making some under-the-radar improvements to its measurement offering. The company has also been staffing up, with agencies telling Business Insider earlier in December that Snapchat had become a lot more proactive in its approach.

Snapchat has opened up more targeting options, letting advertisers target ads at specific age groups and by device, location, and context. In addition, Snapchat has rolled out numerous new ad formats, including "sponsored lenses" that let users overlay graphics and animations over their selfies and its native-video ad product called 3V, which stands for "vertical, video, views."

It's really Snapchat's video story that is getting marketers excited, according to Mallin.

"Clients are really interested ... things that they're looking for like the metrics that show success, understanding what the actual offering is, all of those things weren't really in place for most of this year. But they are falling into place in this quarter and I think as you go into first quarter and second quarter 2016, it's going to accelerate quite rapidly," he said.

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