Snapchat has found a new way of turning its users’ location brags into cash.
Since 2014, Snapchat users have been able to add “geofilters,” which overlay their snaps with the name of their location along with a symbolic sticker — the Eiffel Tower for Paris, for example. The feature has exploded in popularity, and geofilters now sit on top of over 1 million snaps every day.
Until now, users have been the ones who submit potential geofilters, but Snapchat is opening it up to brands for a price. A new advertising program will allow brands to get their geofilters automatically approved, and add thousands of them at once. Think all 14,000 McDonald’s locations in the United States.
The new corporate geofilters will have a small “Sponsored” tag on them, but Snapchat’s betting this won’t deter users from slapping them on their snaps. McDonald’s is the first company to run a geofilter campaign, which started Monday. Snapchat users can now decorate their snaps with an iconic double cheeseburger, or other equally brand-specific illustrations.
“Snapchat is about storytelling and geofilters are a fun, visual way for Snapchatters to tell their friends where they are and what they’re up to,” Snapchat spokeswoman Mary Ritti told The Los Angeles Times.
Snapchat has been experimenting with a lot of ad units lately in an effort to nail its business model. One unit the company seems to be betting big on is in-story video placements. These short spots pop up in between a string of stories from a particular event or location, kind of like an ad in the middle of a TV episode.