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barnimages.com

Snapchat officially opened up its "Ad Manager" self-serve platform to advertisers of all sizes Monday, greatly expanding the scope of advertisers it can automatically service. The expansion also includes updates that will make Snap's ad platform more accessible for small and medium-sized business, like no minimum campaign spend and the ability to pay for Snap Ads by credit card, instead of with a credit line.

Why it matters: The update allows Snapchat to expand its advertiser set and better compete with Google, Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram for small and medium-sized business ad dollars.

More updates: The company is also adding 25 new measurement companies to provide advertisers hands-on support to plan, execute, and optimize their advertising campaigns and will make a mobile dashboard available for all advertisers to monitor campaigns on the go. In July, Snapchat will also launch a proprietary tool to help advertisers cut short, native-to-Snapchat videos so they won't have to use costly video editing software to make ads that look/perform right on Snap's platform.

Quick thought bubble: When Snap first opened a self-serve platform, there were instances of spammy ads surfacing on the platform. This is always something large distributors have to take into consideration when they launch a self-serve platform that anyone can access. To this, Snap notes that all ads will be reviewed by Snap before going live for quality assurance.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Olaf Scholz sworn in as German chancellor, succeeding Merkel

Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is sworn in by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas in Berlin today. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was sworn in as chancellor of Germany on Wednesday, succeeding Angela Merkel after 16 years and launching a new era of German and European politics.

Why it matters: Scholz, a center-left pragmatist who served as finance minister and vice chancellor in Merkel's last government, will lead Europe's largest economy in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.

School buses that track your child's location

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

New York City is the biggest school district to gear up for an Uber-like GPS-based system that tracks each pupil's school bus ride, letting parents know where their child is in real time.

Why it matters: For parents, teachers and school administrators, the ability to follow each student's daily commute adds a layer of safety and peace of mind — and helps all parties adjust plans when there are traffic jams, weather problems or other snarls.