Snapchat Goes Biddable (And Why You Should Care)


On June 13, Snapchat announced via an article in Adweek that it will begin selling a portion of its ad inventory through a new Snapchat Ads API starting in October 2016. These new Snap Ads are taking the place of what was previously dubbed 3V in Snapchat’s sales materials, and will be placed in between user stories.

Most significantly, pricing for each impression will be determined through a real-time second-price auction, comparable to how the bulk of Facebook and Twitter media is purchased. In tandem with this shift in buying model, Snapchat will be rolling out additional targeting options including CRM-based and lookalike-modeled options. This presents advertisers with the opportunity to connect directly with their target audiences for the first time in this burgeoning ecosystem.

Resolution POV

Advertisers should begin planning now to take advantage of these capabilities when they launch: the combination of dynamic pricing and increased precision will dramatically improve Snapchat’s value proposition. At launch, the Ads API-based Snap Ad inventory requires a $40,000 per month minimum and will only be accessible through selected technology partners. Advertisers will also need to select a managed service provider – like a media agency – to execute the buy. Top priorities should be determining how to leverage these new capabilities and what partners to work with on the technology and managed service sides.


Snapchat’s move to make a portion of its inventory accessible programmatically and price it at auction will be welcomed by many advertisers. It will allow a degree of control previously unprecedented on the platform, as well as increase the opportunities for rapid activation and automation. Resolution Media looks forward to helping our clients transition to this new buying method.