Snapchat Debuts Two New Location-Based Advertising Tools



New features help position Snapchat as a viable location-based advertising partner.


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Snapchat is rolling out two new location-based features to help marketers more effectively reach their target audiences. Here’s an overview of what was announced.

Location Categories

With the new location-category feature, advertisers can target an audience based on a particular location type, such as a beach, or a movie theatre. Snapchat offers the examples of swimsuit brands being able to reach users at various beaches or movie studios targeting viewers at specific theatres. Categories can be narrowed even further by inputting information including state, city, and DMA. Per Marketing Land, there are more than 150 locations to choose from within the U.S spanning beaches, bars, universities, and more.

Snapchat thinks the feature will create a win-win situation for both brands and users. As outlined in the announcement, on the one hand, advertisers can more quickly identify “high-intent Snapchatters.” On the other, consumers will receive relevant ads at the moment they are most likely to need them.

Image via Snapchat
Image via Snapchat

Radius Targeting

The second of the new location-centric features uses radius targeting, allowing advertisers to create a customized radius based on an address, city, pin, or point of interest like a sports stadium or university.

So, how does this look in action? The travel app Hopper recently used radius targeting to pass along flight deals to users frequenting particular airports. The result was overwhelmingly positive according to User Acquisition Manager, Qasim Mian. In a statement included in the SC blog post, he explained that the company was able to cut CPIs in half and increase its booking rate on Snapchat to four times what is seen on other paid social platforms used.

Both of these ad filters are available now via a new location search bar in Ads Manager.

Foot Traffic

Per Marketing Land, Snapchat is also testing a Foot Traffic Insights tool aimed to help advertisers with brick-and-mortar locations more easily track in-store foot traffic (hence the name). Specifically, the tool can provide information of users who visit the location including their age, gender, and interests.

Image via Marketing Land

On the surface, this may raise some eyebrows given recent scandals and growing concerns of what social platforms are doing with our personal data. However, Snapchat was sure to address this in its announcement claiming, “We don’t share any location information that can identify specific Snapchatters to advertisers, and all Snapchatters can choose whether to allow use of location services.”

At this time, no specific dates have been released as to when we can expect a broader launch of the tool. The company also revealed this isn’t all we can expect, hinting at more location features to come throughout the year.

With a new eMarketer forecast estimating that the Big 2, Google and Facebook, are expected to lose market share by 2021, Snapchat stands to benefit from a substantial opportunity with these latest efforts. Not to mention, the company claims that of its 187 million users to date, 80 percent percent have used the app at a restaurant, 67 percent at a shopping mall, and 50 percent at a gym. Based on these figures, it isn’t hard to draw the conclusion that building additional features around these types of locations makes a lot of sense.

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