Snapchat is hustling to stay one step ahead of Facebook and that means some snazzy new advertising features.
Snapchat announced on Monday three new advertising offerings, including lenses that take advantage of the company’s efforts to move the feature beyond the user’s face.
Snapchat helped pioneer lenses computer-generated visuals that augment whatever a user is shooting through their smartphone’s camera which have primarily been used for things that alter a user’s appearance, such as the famous puppy filter.
More recently, Snapchat introduced “World Lenses” that can add digital objects to the surroundings. As of Monday, that technology is now available to advertisers in the form of “Sponsored World Lenses.”
Snapchat is also allowing advertisers to begin targeting specific audiences with lenses (advertisers previously had to buy nationwide takeovers). Snapchat is also working on trimming down the time needed to create a lens.
Aside from lenses, Snapchat is introducing new types of geofilters that can automatically add a variety of information to snaps. Options including high schools, colleges, airports, states, cities, neighborhoods, and ZIP codes.
On the left is an example of the new geofilter. On the right is an example of the new audience lens.
The new ad offerings come at a tough time for Snap, the parent company of Snapchat. The company took a beating after a less-than-stellar first quarter, its first as a public company. Snapchat is still spending way more money than it’s bringing in, something that will almost certainly stay true for a while.
That’s not unexpected, but initial optimism for Snapchat has given way to broader concerns that the company is not growing its user base enough to justify how much money it is losing. Snapchat is still building out its advertising operations with these new features aimed at attracting more ad money.