With a reported valuation of at least $15 billion, Snapchat ranks at the upper echelon of the most highly valued private U.S. technology start-ups. Now, more brands are eyeing the disappearing photo- and video-sharing platform as a place to advertise and engage consumers.
For its recent Small Business Saturday campaign, American Express purchased a one-day filter option for users to place over Snapchat photos. The effort was a combination social media campaign and brand booster that encouraged users to support local businesses and share their experience with their friends.
This was the first year AmEx worked with Snapchat and a company representative told CNBC that "while we don't have specific metrics to share, we are pleased with the level of engagement we saw with the filter this year." Snapchat did not respond to several requests for comment.
Meanwhile, a growing number of advertisers are flocking to Snapchat, which has seen breakneck user growth. The platform's Discover section is teeming with big name brands visible to its more than 200 million active users.
The Discover feature allows short video ads to be placed in the middle of news video, and includes sponsored filter and geotag locations. Walk into a McDonald's, for example, and a Snapchat user can access a specialized McDonald's themed filter on their phone, only available if they're physically in one of the fast food chain's restaurants.
According to Debra Aho Williamson, a social media analyst at digital marketing firm eMarketer, Snapchat's recent uptick in use and interest from big companies comes from its strong command over a user's attention: It forces a user to view one screen at a time.
"While we're seeing a lot of young people use Instagram, they're also using Snacphat for one-to-one interactions, and that's different than what you can get on Instagram," she told CNBC.