Snapchat is turning its troves of location- and theme-based user-generated snaps into a searchable library.
Last week, the app launched the ability for some users to search through the more than 1 million unique Stories posted on the app. For example, a user can search their favorite basketball team and be shown live user-generated footage. The addition of search could turn the platform into a powerful discovery tool for businesses and brands.
The power behind Snapchat’s new feature is its base of highly engaged users. Compared with Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger, which each has more than 1 billion monthly active users, Snapchat’s 161 million daily active users seems paltry. However, on average, each user spends between 25 and 30 minutes on the app each day, making them highly valuable to the app and brands on the app.
However, the new feature means that some snaps submitted to Our Stories will no longer be limited to 24 hours and, in some cases, could last for months. This will depend on the amount of user content being generated around certain themes. If there’s a lot, the snaps will rotate faster, while if there’s little volume, the snaps will last much longer.
There's no question that consumers are increasing the amount of time they spend consuming digital media, while advertisers are increasing their ad budgets into digital channels. What may come as a surprise, however, is the complexity of the interconnected web of companies involved in the process of delivering digital advertisements to end users. Collectively, these companies are known as “advertising technology,” or “ad tech” for short.
Ad tech companies are intermediaries between advertisers and publishers, and add value to the ad delivery process by consolidating inventory, automating workflows, and offering precise targeting capabilities at scale. The automation of ad buying is also known as “programmatic advertising” — that is, using technology and software to buy digital ads. Programmatic ad spend in the US is quickly ramping up: It will top $20 billion this year and reach $38.5 billion by year-end 2020.
But ad tech's ascendancy isn’t without its drawbacks. The advertising industry in the US is dominated by two main players: Facebook and Google. As a result, ad tech players are fighting for a pretty small piece of revenue pie, one of the many drivers of increased consolidation in the space.
Kevin Gallagher, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on ad tech that examines the different players involved in the process of delivering ads, the formats that are driving growth (notably mobile and video), and the factors that are driving increased consolidation over the coming years.
Here are some key points from the report:
- By 2020, mobile will be the biggest online advertising market, and video the fastest growing.
- So-called "walled gardens" Google and Facebook lead a relatively small group of players that attract the vast majority of digital-ad spending in the US today.
- Growth can be challenging for players outside the walled-garden duopoly, and many companies are reaching a level of maturity that may prompt investors to push for an exit.
- Ad tech is poised for consolidation, and the number of companies in the industry will decline significantly over the next few years.
- Companies specializing in certain ad formats like mobile, video, and TV are attractive targets. They are well positioned to take advantage of the fastest growing segments of digital media.
In full, the report:
- Forecasts US programmatic revenue through 2020.
- Highlights the factors driving consolidation, and identifies new acquirers and attractive targets.
- Explores the challenges ad tech companies face including the dominance of walled gardens, ad blocking and measurement.
- Outlines emerging technologies that will help propel ad growth in the next decade.
Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:
- Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. » START A MEMBERSHIP
- Purchase & download the full report from our research store.» BUY THE REPORT
More From Business Insider