Snapchat Looks to Encourage Commerce with New Discover Tools

In the wake of Facebook’s news feed changes, Snapchat is enticing publishers with fresh opportunities for commerce.

The commerce function is currently being tested by a handful of Snapchat Discover publisher channels. Beyond those currently testing it, Snap has approached several other Discover publishers to let them know about the upcoming features and gauge their interest. In the commerce feature, users will be able to swipe up and buy a product from the recently launched store inside Discover. This store also offers licensed Snap merchandise like sweatshirts and hats, but the platform is not taking a cut of the revenue generated from sales at this time.

Snapchat has stated previously that commerce is a big priority for the company-- they have worked with advertisers like Nike to sell products in Discover.

As they test this new function, Snap has established branded content guidelines for Discover for the first time. Publishers are now permitted to distribute branded videos as Snap Ads units, with the following conditions:

  • Branded content must live within the Snap Ad unit. These Snap Ads may be thematically and aesthetically aligned to adjacent editorial.

  • Snap Ads containing branded content will be labeled as an “Ad” like all other Snap Ads. Additional disclosure may be necessary, please consult your legal counsel.

  • Brand integration within editorial content as well as advertiser branding in tiles is still prohibited.

  • All other standard Snap Ad specifications and functionality remain unchanged. This includes ad performance metrics, acceptance of third party tags and ability to run measurement studies.

The Discover publisher commerce test comes at a low point in the relationship between publishers and social media juggernaut, Facebook. Just last week, Snapchat hosted its first Publisher Summit in New York City, another arrow in the quiver when it comes to charming publishers.

“As Evan [Spiegel, CEO of Snap,] mentioned on our previous earnings call, content is one of our top three priorities in 2018, and your success on Snapchat is at the heart of that. So we’re going to push harder and be more proactive with helping you succeed on Snapchat,” said Mike Su, Snap’s platform content lead, in a letter sent earlier this year to Discover publishers announcing the Publisher Summit.


Separate from the Discover editions of branded content, Snapchat is also allowing publishers to work with advertisers to run “promoted stories.”

“There’s an interest on [Snap’s] end on how to work with partners to drive more revenue and make it more meaningful,” said an exec at a Snapchat Discover publisher. “It’s a constant conversation, and there’s definitely a feeling of a commitment to the partnership and figuring all of this out together.”

Snapchat is now shelling out for its media partners in a big way-- in 2017, Snap paid more than $100 million to Discover content partners, according to Snap’s year-end earnings report. According to one Discover publisher, Snap-related revenues for their company grew by more than 50% last year as compared to 2016.

“Snapchat’s been a more valuable partner for a while now — and that’s especially the case for the group of Discover partners that figured out how to drive audience and engagement and were early to the platform,” said an exec from this Snapchat Discover publisher. “You’re talking about millions of dollars in revenue that you can directly associate with Snapchat and with being on Discover.”

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TrendsGregor Cooney