Snapchat just made some huge changes that users may not initially notice, but advertisers definitely will. The Discover tiles have been moved down from their previous perch at the top of the Stories screen to somewhere much lower down the feed. Discover is where most big name advertisers buttered their bread with everything from ESPN and NFL updates, MTV hyping new artists or TMZ talking about the latest Kardashians news.
They were attractive and they were prominent. I found myself perusing Discover much more when it moved over to the tiles within Stories rather than when it was on its own tab originally. Now with the tiles moved much further down the screen it has many advertisers worried.
Oh well, these things happen. Remember how infuriated brands were when Facebook significantly pared down organic reach? Well then Promoted Posts came out and they became the biggest arbitrage advertising had seen in a long time. Then those got paired down and out came the massively underpriced Facebook Video and so on and so on.
Fear not though, Snapchat isn’t going to just abandon one of its best ad products without any kind of new features or improvements. And it seems like that may be coming as a result of Snapchat’s other update – Snapchat Playlist. Previously users could go to their Stories and just go through all their friends automatically, as soon as one story ended, Snapchat would automatically go to the next one. Now with Playlist, Snapchat is having users select which stories they want to see, rather than play them all at once. Does this make for a better user experience so you aren’t watching every person’s story, many of which you don’t care about? Maybe. But it also provides potential opportunities for advertising in between these selected stories. Now without the automatic jump to the next story, Snapchat has created an avenue to sell ad space like a commercial in between stories.
Expect more tweaks to the UI and UX as Evan Spiegel and team continue to grow the Snapchat ad platform and its potential. Especially now with competitors like Instagram Stories gunning for them.