It looks like Snapchat is playing nice with their audience, but not their advertisers – the company is giving users a better look at what’s going on in the world, but not including a place for advertisers (not yet anyway!).
Snapchat rolled out Snap Map on June 21, which plots people’s publicly posted Stories by location on a map. This will allow others to see what photos and videos people are sharing from a specific location.
Users will be able to pinch on the app’s main screen, which will bring up a normal-looking map that places heat maps around places where a lot of people are posting Stories, and location-based events, such as sport events and concerts. People will have the option to have their own locations appear on the map, to either followers or to certain friends. It’s possible to go into Ghost Mode so that your location won’t be shared with anyone.
Even though Snap Map could be a great thing for location-minded marketers, According to a spokesperson from Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, the company isn’t going to be running ads alongside Stories access through Snap Map or selling a way for brands to place promoted Story or location on people’s maps.
Could Snapchat eventually extend its ad business to Snap Map? Yup! It’ be pretty easy. The company could run location-targeted ads against Snap Maps’ location-related Stories. But the real opportunity with Snap Maps is taking advantage of the context. According to Snap’s company blog post announcing Snap Maps, the feature is meant for people to “see what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!”
This would all ads found within Snap Maps to better positioned to get people to go to a brand-related location than ads placed elsewhere in Snapchat. The company’s opportunity isn’t limited to extending standard Snap Ads to Snap Maps. Just like how Snapchat places event-related Our Stories within Snap Maps that carry a label to give them extra prominence and pique the interest of people, Snapchat could have brands pay to place promoted Stories on locations within a Snap Map, which would be similar to the ads Google slots within Google Maps.