By Paul Sawers
Snap is opening its Marketing API for all developers to use, the company announced today.
Snapchat first opened its API to a limited number of advertisers back in 2016, enabling third-party technology and creative companies to deliver ads on behalf of brands and agencies. It represented Snapchat’s first moves in the programmatic advertising realm, meaning that ads could be bought and sold automatically, and advertisers could experiment with different kinds of ads through A/B testing to see what works best. Or, for example, a retailer could optimize their ads based on their inventory — if stock runs low on one product, they could automatically switch ads to promote another product.
Snap’s transition to programmatic advertising is now pretty much complete, and the company revealed last week that the vast majority of its ads were bought programmatically in Q4 2017.
“Our advertising business changed profoundly over the past year as we migrated the sale of our Snap Ads to an automated auction,” said Snap’s cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel during its recent earnings call. “Over 90 percent of Snap Ads were bought programmatically during Q4, which means that the auction transition for Snap Ads is largely behind us.”
Snap’s shares soared last week when it announced its daily active users rose from 178 million to 187 million from Q3 to Q4, while its fourth quarter revenue jumped 72 percent to $285.7 million, with the company’s shift to programmatic advertising seemingly playing a part in increased ad revenue.
By opening its Marketing API to all developers, this should go some way toward opening Snapchat to even more advertisers, given that any agency, brand, or technology company will now be able to leverage Snapchat’s targeted marketing smarts.
“We’ve been listening closely to third-party developers as we transition Snapchat ad products onto our self-serve platform,” said James Borow, director of revenue programs at Snap. “Today we’re opening up our Marketing API to give every developer tools to build the Snapchat ad solutions that perform best for them and their customers.”
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