Snapchat is launching brand profiles – a permanent home for companies on the platform that pools their various assets, such as Lenses and ecommerce stores.
They launch today as a closed beta for 30 advertisers. Brand profiles function as an extension of the public profiles, launched last year, that have enabled US media networks such as NBC News (Stay Tuned) and ESPN (SportsCenter) to build a following on the platform.
Snapchat now wants advertisers to be able to build their own "real estate" as its audience tends to be harder to reach on a brand’s own website or app. The tech company, which has made its name as a disappearing-message platform, is now creating permanent places for brands’ content to live in order to encourage them to invest more.
The profile may comprise any of the brand’s augmented-reality Lenses that have been created and saved into an archive or "showcase" and a native store through which users can buy products directly (powered by Shopify). There are also profile elements that are familiar to brand pages on other social media, such as enabling companies to create "highlights" (a collection of favoured content, such as Snaps, Stories and pictures) and Story posts.
Dior, L'Oréal Paris, Target and Universal are among the 30 brands that are launching their profiles today, but the aim is to expand this for more advertisers after the beta test. Brands will be able to manage their profile and insights in the app and on the web through Snapchat’s Business Manager, which lets them see information such as audience demographics and interests for those who view their Stories.
Snapchat, whose audience skews towards millennials and the even younger Generation Z, is telling advertisers that this tool will allow brands to specifically learn how younger people are developing their "lifelong brand perceptions, preferences and loyalty".
After subscribing to a brand, Snapchat users can find a brand’s Stories and Lenses in the subscription section of the app, meaning a brand’s AR-led campaigns should last longer because users will find it easier to stay connected to their messaging.
Anna Musikhina, global vice-president, digital, at L’Oréal Paris, said: "AR is an essential part of our digital strategy for some years now and we see how consumers value the virtual try-on experiences as well as the Lens experiences, which allow them to express themselves in the digital space. Virtual communication becomes an essential part of our lives and L’Oréal Paris is happy to be there for our consumers and provide them beauty solutions fit for their digital lives."