Snap Rolls Out New Features For Brands Including First Video Ad Between Friend Stories

Snapchat parent Snap Inc., which has been struggling to get its advertising business back on track, presented a host of new options for brands Tuesday at the NewFronts.

One of the biggest new features is called “First Story,” which will allow brands to reserve the first video seen by Snapchat users between Friend Stories. The unit could reach more than 50 million daily users in the U.S. the company estimated.

Last month, Snap reported another slide in revenue for the first quarter, signaling that its ongoing ad malaise – partly self-inflicted, partly due to the economic climate – will continue through the current quarter. Despite its financial stumbles, the company is continuing to grow, reporting 383 million daily active users as of March 31.

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In addition to First Story, Snap told the NewFronts audience that it is rolling out ads on its Spotlight platform, which is watched by more than 350 million users globally each month. The company also is looking to allow brands and creators to work together more seamlessly by introducing Snap Star Collab Studio.

Like other social media and tech firms, Snap is also taking a closer look at artificial intelligence. It has begun testing the use of sponsored links inside its AI offering, My AI. The feature could enable users to be served links for food and travel options, for example, based on parts of their conversations with the interface.

Snap also said it is continuing to forge content deals with media companies, including exclusives for the Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Video and other materials will circulate on Stories, Spotlight and Camera. Ongoing deals will also feature NFL, NBA and WNBA highlights and content.

Rob Wilk, Snap’s new President of Americas, said Snap draws users to “build connections and have fun with friends, families, and their favorite creators,” underscoring the presentation’s focus on “real relationships.”

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