February 2018 Snapchat Updates & News

2018 is off to an exciting start for Snapchat, including a stellar Q4 earnings report that surprised most of the industry. The social platform has kicked off the year with a long list of updates and changes. Here we’ll summarize some of the most interesting changes and what they could mean for advertisers using the platform.

Get Ready to See More Snapchat Videos Outside of Snapchat.

The Snapchat redesign is officially rolling out across the U.S., and as part of that update be prepared to see more Snapchat videos outside of Snapchat. With the redesign, users can now share Snapchat Stories outside the app using email or text. Snapchat will create a link for each Story, and that link will redirect users to a video player at Snapchat.com, where they can watch the Story without logging in. But, as explained by Recode, “not all Stories will be sharable in this way — just some of the more high-profile, publicly viewable Stories, which the company calls Our Stories, Search Stories and Official Stories, which are from celebrity users.”

Users will also be able to embed these Stories on third-party websites or blogs, similar to how tweets and Facebook posts are embeddable off-site. Snap claims they are not monetizing the embedded player;however, should they change this stance, brands and agencies should thoroughly assess what this means from a brand safety perspective.

Announcing Bitmoji Deluxe

At the end of January, Snapchat launched Bitmoji Deluxe. Bitmoji Deluxe is a new and even more customizable version of its cartoon-like avatars. Users will now find additional skin tones, hairstyles, hair colors, facial features, accessories, and more to better configure their Bitmojis to more closely resemble their physical appearance. And, to make selecting physical attributes even easier (think more customizable eyebrows and noses), Snapchat will now preview all the options directly on your Bitmoji. Additionally, they’ve made it easier to take a quick selfie to inspire your Bitmoji creation.


Bitmoji Deluxe drives more value for Snapchat users, but what does it mean for advertisers? According to TechCrunch, this latest update makes Bitmoji more flexible on the back end so Snapchat can add new variation options more frequently, which could ultimately “pave the way for brand-sponsored Bitmoji clothing, accessories, make-up and more.” This could present interesting opportunities for lifestyle and brands specifically. And, if you’re scratching your head wondering what a Bitmoji is, then not to fear. We have you covered. Check out our 2016 blog post for a quick intro to Bitmojis and to learn more about how brands are leveraging the emoji customization trend.

Analytics for Creators 

Beginning Feb. 14, creators who make official Stories or have large followings started to see view count and demographic analytics on their Snapchat profile. The new analytics include:

  • Total Story Views
  • Time Spent Viewing Stories
  • Daily unique story viewers
  • Audience demographics
  • Audience interests

Prior to this, Snapchat would only show daily Story view counts that content creators had to screenshot before they disappeared every 24 hours. For brands and agencies using influencers on Snapchat, these new analytics should be factored into what is provided as proof of performance.

New Research on Snapchat and Moviegoers

New research shows that Snapchat users make up 36 percent of all moviegoers and 50 percent of all movie ticket sales. The new data was collected by the National Research Group (NRG) on behalf of Snap and also found that movies with ads on Snapchat saw a 23 percent increase in unaided awareness. This new research highlights the wide overlap between Snapchatters and moviegoers, and suggests that studio brands can have create a tremendous impact with campaigns on Snapchat.

Snapchat Wins the Developing World

On Feb. 6, Snap released a blockbuster Q4 earnings report. What’s responsible for this renewed strength? The developing world. For years, Snap has focused specifically on markets, like the U.S, where high-end phones and broadband mobile networks are readily available. However, in a recent shift, Snap started to focus more on the developing world. By doing things like enhancing its Android app performance, launching partnerships with wireless carriers to reduce the cost of the data Snap uses, and engineering improvements to make video Snaps and ads easier to stream, they have significantly increased users across South America, Asia, and more.

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