While Twitter tries to lure advertisers with emoji targeting, Snapchat last week made some big ad announcements that could hasten the app's rise as a marketing platform for brands looking to connect with young consumers.

Here's what marketers need to know about the announcements.

A new ad format and placement

Interactive ad formats that blend into the user experience are increasingly popular in social apps (see: Instagram's carousel ads).

So it's no surprise that Snapchat's new Snap Ads do the same.

This new ad format allow users to swipe up on the ad to reveal additional content, which can include a video or an embedded article.

The ad format can also direct users to install an app or visit an external website, so marketers have numerous options depending on their campaign goals.

Results from a Gatorade ad campaign on Snapchat

In addition to the new ad format, Snapchat will begin inserting ads on a random basis when user's auto-advance between Snapchat Stories.

Until now, marketers wanting to run campaigns on Snapchat have had to work with Snapchat directly.

But now, thanks to partnerships with third-party ad platforms that have integrated with Snapchat's new Ads API, marketers will be able to create and execute campaigns through interfaces offered by 4C, Adaptly, Amobee, Brand Networks, SocialCode, TubeMogul, Unified and VaynerMedia.

According to Adweek, API inventory will be sold via an automated, auction-based system.

Snapchat would not disclose much financial detail about the relationships on its API, but Ads Partners members, via their software, will sell video inventory to be automatically invoiced to Snapchat, after which the vendors will collect their fees.

While all ads – regardless of the platform they're executed through – will be reviewed by Snapchat for quality, third-party buying could be a watershed moment for advertising on Snapchat.

This is because it will make it easier for marketers to start and scale ad campaigns, and manage them through platforms that they're using more broadly.

An ecosystem of creative shops

With the new focus on ad formats that integrate with Snapchat's user experience, one of the biggest challenges marketers face is developing campaigns that take advantage of the unique attributes of those offerings.

To help marketers, Snapchat teamed up with WPP and The Daily Mail to launch its own agency, Truffle Pig.

But now it has also forged partnerships with more than a dozen agencies that are well-versed in developing high-quality creative for Snapchat ads, giving marketers more options when they want outside assistance.

More analytics

Snapchat doesn't just need to make it easier for marketers to advertise their wares on its service. It also needs to ensure that they can measure the efficacy of their campaigns.

To that end, the company has been busy establishing relationships with firms that can help it do just that. 

For instance, in April, Snapchat announced a deal with comScore to help publishers participating in Snapchat's Discover program measure their audiences. 

Last week, the number of analytics partners grew as Snapchat and adtech firm Moat announced a deal to create an ad performance score based on screen real estate and duration of an ad view.

According to Snapchat's Clement Xue, the performance score could one day help determine how Snapchat charges for impressions.

For more on Snapchat, see:

Patricio Robles

Published 20 June, 2016 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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