Snapchat Is Reportedly Developing An API For Advertising

An API would allow the media sharing platform to grow a larger ad ecosystem, possibly similar to Instagram’s.

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Slightly over a year since its first ad, Snapchat is actively developing an application programming interface (API) to support advertising.

That’s according to a story in today’s Digiday, which cited “multiple sources.” The messaging platform is reportedly now in discussions with various ad agencies and tech firms to determine what their requirements might be, and the API could be ready for testing this spring. Snapchat has declined comment on the story.

An API would allow Snapchat to expand its ecosystem of advertisers and the kinds of ads it can offer, facilitating direct response ads like ones for app installs and better enabling programmatic user targeting, ad order placement, ad creative delivery and analytics.

To date, the platform has been handling ad placement through direct contact with brands and their agencies. It’s also received a lot of attention for the development of brand-labeled content, such as through its Discover feature.

Other messaging platforms, like Twitter, also offer ad-oriented APIs. Facebook-owned Instagram, for instance, utilizes its parent’s API technology.

Agencies and tech firms will need to adapt their platforms for Snapchat’s API, so one question is how many are prepared to customize their technology for another set of specs.

And Snapchat will want to retain firm control over how its API is used, having been burned in the past over unauthorized use by app developers of the company’s private API.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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