Snap plans to build monetization and distribution tools to lure influencers to its platform, according to comments shared during the company’s Q3 earnings call.
This marks a shift for Snap, as it has historically limited offerings catering to influencers. Details were scarce, but generally, the company will develop tools in 2018 that enable influencers to more easily share content with a broader audience.
The company’s comments come after a quarter of lackluster user and revenue growth: Snapreported its Q3 2017 earnings on Tuesday, posting $208 million in revenue and 178 million daily active users (DAU), which missed expectations of $237 million in revenue and 182 million DAU.
Snap is likely focused on attracting influencers for the following reasons:
- Influencers could bring large, loyal follower bases to Snapchat with them.Influencers boast many followers, who may migrate to Snapchat to seek their content. This would be a meaningful way for Snapchat to boost its user growth rate, which continued to decelerate in Q3.
- Influencers could help make Snapchat a more top-of-mind marketing platform for brands. More brands may turn more to Snapchat for sponsored posts if the platform hosts a greater number of influencers. If sponsored posts garner high engagement from users, Snapchat may become more of an integral part of a brand’s marketing strategy. In turn, these brands may become more inclined to use Snapchat’s other ad offerings, which could lead to more ad clients and revenue.
To attract more influencers, Snap could take a couple of approaches:
- Create a partnership program that pays top influencers. Snapchat could pay creators based on how many views their Stories receive by sharing revenue generated by ads run on Stories. The company could require influencers’ Stories to have a certain number of views before being admitted into the program. This could be similar to YouTube’s partner program, and attractive because ad revenue can supplement an influencer’s income when brand sponsorship deals are sparse. The program would also differentiate Snapchat from Twitter and Instagram, which don’t have formal ad revenue-sharing partner programs for influencers (though Instagram is still very lucrative and likely top-of-mind for these high-profile users).
- Create a dedicated section for influencer content to improve discoverability.Snapchat doesn’t yet have a dedicated section to discover Stories and posts from influencers users don’t already follow. The company could create a section for influencer content that would function similar to Instagram’s Explore tab. This would likely greatly increase influencers’ visibility on the platform, as users currently have to use the app’s search bar to find and add influencers. The company mentioned during its earnings call that it is currently redesigning its platform to ease content discovery, which could make an influencer section a natural addition.
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