Another part of Snapchat's appeal to brands is that it is a messaging app, as opposed to a social media platform like Facebook or Twitter or a video-based platform like YouTube. Users incorporate advertising content into their creations, instead of seeing traditional posts or items created by brands. Marketers can sponsor picture filters (called "Lenses") or Live stories. Then, users snap pictures using branded assets or submit their own stories to brand channels.
Because they are created by users themselves and are of the moment, Snapchat's ads can resonate more, said Lindsay Sutton, vice president and group director for social strategy at DigitasLBi. A study released on Thursday by MediaScience of 320 people over 552 sessions showed that people paid twice as much attention to Snapchat video ads over Facebook ads. The report also claimed that Snapchat video ads made people want to purchase products more than twice as much as ads on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TV.
"As a brand you are able to create some unique experiences in that story that they cannot see anywhere else," she said.
This doesn't mean that Facebook is becoming irrelevant, Sutton pointed out. For one thing, it still maintains a massive user base of 1.09 billion active daily users. Instagram on its own has 400 million monthly active users. Targeting is still limited for Snapchat, especially when you want to reach people worldwide, Sutton said.
"Facebook is a giant when you think of consumer behavior," said Sutton. "Yes, the young adult consumer may be more drawn to Snapchat, but when you think of advertiser dollars it is still going to Facebook because of that global reach."
In addition, creating ads for Snapchat can be expensive. Outside of its advertising rates, making ads for the platform often involves creating items like filters that can't be reused elsewhere.
And, Facebook could become a competitor. The Marketing Arm's Schneider adds that Facebook has messaging properties that it has yet to open up to advertising. It purchased Masquerade in march, which gives it Snapchat-like picture filter abilities. It's also in the processes of getting more users to use its Messenger app.
Snapchat's biggest problem for now is the lack of widespread use across demographics, according to Tribal Worldwide North American president Richard Guest. He believes most of the advertiser interest in Snapchat is being fueled by press mentions, not because brand executives are using the platform.
Facebook, on the other hand, really boomed after company leaders began using it in their daily lives, he pointed out. Until Snapchat gets there, he believes it will have a hard time becoming a top digital advertising power.
"A lot of our clients from an agency perspective aren't Snapchat users," Guest said,. "They don't understand how it works. It still suffers from the misconceived perceptions of what people were doing on Snapchat a few years ago. People don't appreciate the richness of content that can exist on the platform."