After the launch of the Sponsored Lens in 2015, Snapchat is expanding the possibilities of this lens to a Shoppable Lens. Buttons will now be available in the lens that can link the user directly to a product page.

What are Sponsored Lenses?

Snapchat is all about taking photos or videos that can be forwarded to friends. The platform is large and especially popular among young people. 187 million daily active users spend an average of 30 minutes in the app, 60% of whom also use it themselves take a photo or video and share it with friends.

A lens is a layer that the user can place over the photo or video of themselves. Since 2015, this has also included commercial variants. Advertisers design their own lenses and purchase space within Snapchat to offer them to users. The user is shown the lens in the app and can apply it to his or her photo if necessary.

The use of the lenses is popular. 70 million users play with the lenses every day and more than 250 million snaps are captured with the lens shared on the platform.

Examples of Sponsored Lenses (https://forbusiness.snapchat.com/ad-products)

Shoppable Lenses

The Sponsored Lens has now been expanded to a “Shoppable Lens”. Where the lens could previously only contain a message (picture or text), buttons are now also available in the lens that the user can click on. The Snapper can then be led to, for example, a product page. Three variants will be available: “Shop now” (for a link to product pages), “View now” (for playing a video) and “Install now” (for installing an app). By adding the button in the lens, the circle is complete for the advertiser. While the lenses could previously only be used for branding, they can now also be better used to increase sales or conversion.

Adidas is one of the first to introduce Shoppable Lens. The user can apply the lens that has a buy button in it. https://mashable.com/2018/04/18/snapchat-shoppable-ar-lenses-strategy

Snapchat under fire

The launch of the Shoppable Lenses comes at a crucial time for Snapchat. Due to a recent change in the app design and feature changes, many famous users leave the platform and fewer stories are viewed than before. Jelmer, ex-Snapper and programmer at Van Ons, explains why he no longer uses Snapchat:

After the changes in Snapchat, I started using the app less. The familiar feeling is gone and the stories have become less clear. I switched to Instagram, also because the quality of photos and videos there is much better than in Snapchat.

The reach of advertisers may be shrinking, so new ways need to be found to increase that reach. The expansion of the lenses can provide an opportunity for this. Whether the number of users will continue to decline or whether it will increase again in the future remains to be seen.