Snapchat’s Shiny New API: The Best Has Yet to Come?

By Christina Gaines | @stinaegaines 16910572286_b57822d5bc_o

Whilst the “year of visuals” commences, Snapchat gets ready for bat.

According to Digiday, Snapchat will soon be rolling out its new API technology, offering the competitive advertising edge the famed disappearing image app has lacked for so long.

Snapchat reaches a young audience of more than 100 million daily users, with more than a whopping 7 billion videos viewed per day.

However, some marketers were deterred.

On social media platforms like Facebook, advertising campaigns cast a strategically targeted, net to catch a few fish whereas Snapchat relies on the fish to pursue the fisherman. Therefore, for Snapchat, their efforts would appear to have a higher conversion rate. Snapchat doesn’t gather as much information about each individual user as Facebook or Twitter does - its analytical tools and data just aren’t up to par with the big guys. Not to mention that content created for other platforms must be re-edited or formatted prior to sharing.

Enter, API. What’s API, you ask? Don’t worry, we forgive you.

“API” means application programming interface, or simply a way for app programmers to communicate with well, the app. This Sprout Social article has a nifty little graphic to demonstrate how API is essentially a specification written by the provider, or the middleman in the programmer to application process.

Snapchat currently takes a more hands-on approach to advertising, treating things carefully and case-by-case. A higher-quality API, along with the more sturdy campaign man power it promises, indicates that ad buyers could purchase content space on Snapchat with significantly more ease - and more performance measurements.

All in all, in order for Snapchat to match the success of Facebook, there are several steps needed before advertisers with the appropriate target audience throw down the cash. But filling in this hole will certainly work towards leveling the playing field.

Will Nesbit