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Snapchat expands major advertising feature to all brands ahead of IPO

Snapchat announced Tuesday it's opening up its automated API platform to all advertising partners, not just a handful of high-level test partners, like Unilever and Gatorade.

What's an API? An API, short for application programming interface, is a set of rules or standards that govern how applications can communicate, or share data. For example, your computer uses an API to transfer different formats of data when you cut and paste text from email into a Word document.

How does Snap's API work? Snap's API, called Snapchat Partners, connects technology and data partners to expand the range of data-targeting options advertisers can use to reach custom audiences. It also allows media buyers to purchase ads at scale through a streamlined process that optimizes creative content in real time. Today Snapchat announced it was adding 16 new agencies and vendors to its API platform to expand its capabilities. They are also adding a new feature, called Ads Partner Licensing, a self-service tool that lets brands use API partners' software in-house, to give them more control of ad campaigns.

Why it matters: Ahead of their IPO, Snapchat executives have been touting their ability to monetize their highly-engaged audience through different advertising features. According to AdWeek, we should expect to see case studies from four months of test partner campaigns in coming weeks. Revealing test campaign results from their API platform just before their highly-anticipated IPO means we can expect good results.