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The incredible commercial power of Snapchat summed up in one slide

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer
Source: Melody Hahm
Source: Mary Meeker, Kleiner Perkins

Some folks may not recognize it, but brands are getting tons of everyday consumers to advertise their goods for free. And they’re doing it through popular apps like Snapchat.

Take slide 83 from Mary Meeker’s annual Internet trend report. The longtime tech and venture capital analyst pointed out that branded lenses are increasingly applied by users. For example, Taco Bell’s (YUM) Cinco de Mayo lens reached 224 million people on Snapchat. The Super Bowl lens sponsored by Gatorade (PEP) on February 7 garnered 165 million views on Snapchat, according to Meeker.

Snapchat has already surpassed Twitter (TWTR) in daily active users. 150 million people use the social media app every day, according to Bloomberg. That’s 150 million people who are playing around with various filters to send their ephemeral selfies.

Between 10 and 20 million Snapchat users view live stories each day. More users watched the MTV video music awards on the platform than on TV (12 million people watched MTV’s live Snapchat story while only 9.8 million tuned in to the broadcast), according to Meeker.

Last fall Snapchat bought selfie animation app Looksery, which powers the various lenses that have you vomiting a rainbow or replace your eyes with your mouth.

These lenses can be used for both photos and videos. Typically, the lens animates when you raise your eyebrows or open your mouth (that’s how I triggered the piece of pizza to fly toward the camera in the Ninja Turtles filter). The average snapchatter fools around with a sponsored lens for 20 seconds, according to the report.

Take, for example, the Ninja Turtles filter (that I had a little bit too much fun playing with). “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” hits the box office on June 3 so it’s kind of a brilliant way for Paramount and Nickelodeon to get people hyped about the film. It’s worth noting that only one of the 16 filters available today is actually branded.

The lenses are increasingly popular, precisely because the filter is always tied to a specific event or occasion, and don’t make users feel as though they’re participating in a free advertisement for the sponsor.

The major takeaway here is that Snapchat and its brand partners have convinced users that advertising can be fun.