Why Snapchat Is All In On Vertical Video… Still

Why Snapchat Is All In On Vertical Video… Still

Within Snapchat’s recent 2019 financial results was one insight sure to pique the interest of competitors.

The total time spent by Snapchat users watching ‘Discover’ content increased by 35 per cent year-over-year.

As well as validating the investment into ‘Snap Originals’ – short, tailor-made shows that are streamed on the platform – the rise of the Discover feature highlights a growing demand for vertical, made-for-mobile content.

Instagram stories, TikTok, Facebook’s News Feed and the soon to arrive video streaming service Quibi. All rest on the power of a vertical screen.

Some are calling it a video revolution. The traditional 16:9 aspect ratio is being inverted for a 9:16 approach.

But as Snapchat general manager ANZ Kathryn Carter [feature image] reminds B&T, there’s nothing revolutionary about it.

“Made-for-mobile video content originated on our platform,” she says.

“We released our first video product in 2013, soon after the actual launch of the platform in 2012,” she says. “We’ve always believed in the power of vertical video and visual storytelling.”

With the data showing an increasing hunger for vertical format, it can only be expected the market will follow Snapchat’s lead.

It’s happened before.

“Increasingly, time is being spent consuming vertical video content, which is what we’ve pioneered,” Carter says.

“We’re incredibly proud of the fact many of our innovations have gone on to become industry norms. We invented the story format, which is now obviously widely adopted.”

Getting the solutions right

Attracting an audience through the Discover feature is one thing. Monetising this audience for brand partners is another.

Carter puts it simply: “Advertisers are always wanting an ad solution that is going to provide them with the most relevant audience in the most efficient way.”

“Advertisers are recognising that marrying investment where time is being spent will unlock that.

“We’ve got every confidence that the continuing investment and iterations that we’re making to our video ad products – for both our customers and community – will continue to set the standard,” she says.

To further bolster its video advertising solution, Snapchat now offers options ranging from a six-second to a three-minute video ads.

According to Snapchat, it’s a way to extend storytelling from individual stories to brand stories.

“Brands can connect with consumers in a way that makes a real impact on Snapchat because our community values and creates stories daily,” Carter says.

Even with a variety of options, placement is still a critical component when it comes to getting ads on the platform right.

Video ads on Snapchat run in-between Stories, Discover Content and Community Content rather than pre-rolls, meaning advertisers can connect with users in a range of different scenarios.

Additionally, Snapchat knows around 60 per cent of ads on the platform are watched with sound on, meaning there is every opportunity for brands to engage with a well-placed ad.


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