What do Snapchatters Want from Ads? [Report]

sc_li_imgAh, Snapchat. Truly a darling of the mobile app world. Users love it. Brands and advertisers want to be a part of it. And with an IPO on the horizon, you can bet that Snapchat wants to prove its value to advertisers more than ever.

In recent months, Snapchat has added plenty of new ad-friendly features to the app. Mobile video ads launched, and the capabilities of custom lenses and geofilters continue to expand. But how do Snapchat’s users feel about the platform’s advertising changes?

With all this buzz about Snapchat, we were curious. How do people use Snapchat? How do users feel about the platform’s advertising changes?

In our new report, we used Perk IQ to find out about our users’ Snapchat usage and how they feel about ads.

Snapchat’s video ads are unpopular among users

Snapchat’s “traditional” ten-second mobile video ads are called Snap Ads. And to the yellow ghost’s credit, these ads grab attention. 74% of Snapchat users have seen an ad on the mobile messaging app. And over half (52%) claim to see ads regularly. But this advertising format with might yield undesirable results. The problem begins when only 21% of Snapchat’s users like the ads they see.

There’s a real impact on bottom line for Snapchat’s advertisers, too. The app’s users say they are less likely to buy after seeing ad on Snapchat than they would after seeing an ad on both TV (42%) and online (40%). That’s right – people would rather see ads online and on TV than on Snapchat.

There is one bright spot, however. Snap Ads do have the potential to beat online ads in their ability to grab attention. More users agreed that they would pay attention to Snapchat ads over online ads – 36% to 34%. Unfortunately, the same was not true for TV.


“Traditional” advertising racks up user backlash on Snapchat. The messaging platform was ad-free for a long time, so Snap Ads that interrupt the experience changed the game. Users may just need some time to adjust. (If users get comfortable with these ads at all, that is!) Snapchat itself can make tweaks to create the best possible ad experience.

Lenses, filters, and influencer partnerships grab favorable attention

There is a clear bright spot in Snapchat advertising: sponsored lenses and filters. Over half (53%) of people enjoy when a brand sponsors an animated lens or location-based filter that can be used to decorate a Snap. 52% also agree that they are more likely to pay attention to brands that sponsor lenses or filters over regular Snapchat video ads.

Another promotional tactic for Snapchat is through partnerships with prominent users or celebrities. Brands like Sphero, maker of the super-popular BB-8 droid, have already found success with influencers. 51% of Snapchat users follow celebrities on Snapchat, but only 37% follow brands or companies. Plus, twice as many people view stories created by celebrities than stories created by brands.

Want to win Snapchat? Focus on the experience

Snapchatters prefer brand messaging that cozies right up to their Snapchat experience. Ads that interrupt the experience annoy users and cause widespread user dissatisfaction. But promoted filters, lenses, and partnerships with power users are viewed more favorably.

Why? Lenses, filters, and partnerships add to the users’ Snapchat experience. More lenses and filters make Snapping fun, and help keep content fresh. Partnering with a Snapchat celebrity gives fans more content.

What does that mean for your Snapchat advertising? Tailor your messaging to the platform and its audience. Have you heard this before? Guess what: it’s true here too! It may be easy to stick a 10-second push video ad into Snapchat, but that may not generate the best results.

Click here to see all the data on Snapchat ads in the full report. If you’d like to see all the insights Perk IQ could uncover for your business, contact us here.