Over the past six months, Snapchat has made three hires from the same Los-Angeles-based marketing tech startup, Shift — a move that likely signals the company is serious about turning its recently-launched advertising API (application programming interface) into a world class revenue platform.
Shift was a social advertising platform that hooked into all the major sites — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and so on — and let marketers serve content across them and analyse those campaigns.
The company was bought by Brand Networks, a larger social marketing company, for $50 million in 2015 in a cash and stock deal.
First to fly the nest from Brand Networks over to Snapchat was Shift’s cofounder and CEO James Borow.
He moved into a revenue partnerships role at Snapchat in February, according to LinkedIn. At Brand Networks, he became the chief product officer following the acquisition.
Next to shift to Snapchat was Daniel Druger, who in May also moved into a revenue partnerships role. He was Shift’s product marketing manager and became a product manager at Brand Networks following the acquisition.
Most recently, Mike Khristo left Brand Networks to move into a “developer relations” role at Snapchat. He was VP of product solutions at Brand Networks and was head of solutions engineering at Shift before that.
Snapchat declined to comment on the hires. Brand Networks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In June, Snapchat launched its long-awaited ads API. It has seen the company partner with more than 20 marketing and ad tech companies — including Brand Networks — to let marketers buy create, buy, and analyse their Snapchat ads using third-party software.
Before, marketers had to buy ads on Snapchat through its direct sales team, but now they can buy in an automated (known as “programmatic”) fashion like they can across the rest of the web, which will likely serve as an adrenaline shot to Snapchat’s revenues.
Documents leaked to TechCrunch in May suggested Snapchat is project full-year revenues of between $250 million and $350 million in 2016, and up to $1 billion in 2017.
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