Snapchat expands the TikTok clone because the digicam app accelerates the expansion of video adverts

Snapchat this week launched its global expansion of Spotlight, the TikTok clone of the photo messaging app that is set to become a larger advertising opportunity. With the rollout in India, Mexico and Brazil, parent company Snap aims to increase the popularity of Spotlight, which had around 100 million active users per month in January.

That’s impressive growth for a feature Snapchat launched in 11 countries just two months earlier. At that point, the company announced a plan to give out $ 1 million a day to video artists to encourage them to try out the platform’s new format. The best-performing content payout program was due to expire in late 2020, but Snap decided to extend the offer, drawing an average of 175,000 video submissions per day.

But will Spotlight still be convincing to developers and brands if Snap ends high payouts? At the moment it seems geared towards improving long-term stability.

“While Snapchat has not been a fertile ground for social media developers in the past, Spotlight was created in the hope of changing that,” said Maarten Boon, senior product marketing manager for digital asset management at startup Bynder. “Snapchat’s Spotlight is another example of how social media platforms are adapting their features to give users the TikTok-like experiences they’ve been focused on.”

Building a critical mass

Given that Snapchat’s daily user base, which has grown 22% to 265 million over the past year, is sending 5 billion images daily through the platform, Spotlight has a lot given this week’s expansion to other major countries around the globe greater growth potential.

“There is both a challenge and an opportunity for brands as there are more ways than ever to engage with audiences with content created specifically for this platform,” said Bynder’s Boon. “This new approach also requires marketers to revamp their traditional approach to video content creation.”

Expanding the variety of content to increase audience numbers is one of the first steps in opening up Spotlight to advertising. Brands are projected to increase their in-app video ad spend in the U.S. by 28% this year to $ 18 billion as the ad market begins to normalize and demand increases after the pandemic, according to eMarketer researchers subsides.

“Our primary goal in introducing Spotlight was to build critical mass in terms of both video submissions and audiences in a select group of countries so that we can begin to quickly increase the content ranking and overall product experience repeat, “Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, said a quarterly earnings call last month.

During the call, Spiegel did not provide a schedule for Spotlight to start selling advertisements in Spotlight. Right now, the top priority has been to increase engagement enough to support the longer term operation of the platform. The Creator Incentive Program does not allow sponsored videos or videos that sell products or services, although this approach to monetization could change if things really catch on with users. Outside of Spotlight, Snapchat offers a variety of video ad formats that vary in length and placement across all sections of the app.

“Fortunately, we have a lot of demand for vertical video, the format we’re going to monetize Spotlight,” said Spiegel. “Spotlight is a great way for people to expand their video campaigns.”

Video content is especially popular with younger consumers. 61% of Gen Zers and Millennials said they have watched more videos on social media apps since the pandemic broke out. This is the result of a survey by Snapchat and the Omnicom Media Group. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they use their smartphones to watch more videos on streaming apps and platforms, while an equal percentage said they will maintain that increased display after the pandemic, according to the study.

At the same time, there are signs that Snap plans to expand its reach to advertisers by hiring Doug Frisbie as vice president of global business marketing in February. He previously held a similar role at Archrival Facebook, where he ran the social network’s small business and vertical marketing.

Reply to TikTok

Snapchat launched Spotlight in late 2020 as U.S. social media companies responded to the growing threat posed by TikTok. The social video app has been installed more than 2.6 billion times since 2018 and was one of the top-rated apps in the US last year according to Sensor Tower analysis. To reap some of TikTok’s soaring popularity, Facebook-owned Instagram launched a copycat feature called Reels last year, while Google’s YouTube began testing a feature called Shorts in India. Google announced this week that it would launch a beta launch of shorts in the US

“Many of the popular consumer trends on TikTok are also popular on Spotlight: dance videos, prank videos, and challenges,” said Bynder’s Boon. “With Spotlight currently paying millions of dollars to get people to use the app, now is the perfect opportunity for brands to create content that encourages users to interact with them while everything is new and exciting. “

When developing a social video strategy, Boon recommends being open to experimentation and putting in place a system that allows content to be created quickly when video is trending. It is also important to test content in various social media apps to determine which algorithms are most likely to go viral using the respective, often tricky, algorithms.

“Marketing and creative teams need to let go of the idea of ​​the traditional video creation process,” said Boon. “In a world where authentic and informal content is valued, the polished 60-second video display is no longer the end result. Instead, easy-to-use” atomic “content is the way for brands to create fast, informal video . “

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