Snapchat Introduces Pixel Tracking Tool

Snapchat ads are about to get more accurate with the introduction of a pixel which will finally allow advertisers to measure the cross-device impact of their campaigns.

Whilst other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have been using pixels to create retargeting audiences for years, Snapchat were initially wary of implementing pixel technology. However, as more and more advertisers move towards direct response goal setting, it seems that Snapchat has been forced to follow suit.

Snap Pixel

The Snap Pixel is a short piece of JavaScript code which can be implemented into an advertiser’s website. The pixel will then track the user journey from the time that they initially view a Snap Ad to the point of conversion, even if they switch devices.

Conversion events such as purchases, adds to cart, page signups and page views can be tracked, and data can be viewed and managed collectively within Snapchat’s advertising API.

While the pixel does not currently support audience building and custom measurement metrics, there are plans to broaden the pixel’s range of applications in the near future.

Snapchat’s expansion

The introduction of the Snapchat Pixel follows a period of expansion for Snapchat’s advertising platform at the end of 2017. In November, Snapchat launched the new augmented reality lens and Snapchat discover ad formats in an attempt to drive advertisers to diversify their social media activity.

Since their release, both formats have driven successes for a number of well-known brands. For example, the new sponsored lens ad format drove strong results for the US fashion brand Hollister, with their Spring Break lens achieving 83 million total views and a 19 point increase in ad recall.

Snapchat and Instagram

For Snapchat, there is a pressing need for continuous development as the pressure to keep up with Instagram grows more intense. In mid-2017, the rivalry between Snapchat and Instagram grew exponentially with the release of the Instagram Stories feature which was previously unique to Snapchat.

Since its release, the feature has significantly impacted the open rate of Snapchat stories, with Instagram’s open rate exceeding Snapchat’s by 28%. Since Instagram ads can also now be managed within the ubiquitous Facebook Ads Manager, it is perhaps unsurprising that Instagram remains the image-sharing platform of choice for the majority of advertisers.

Although Snapchat’s new ads manager interface is virtually an exact replication of Facebook’s, it has yet to achieve the same degree of adoption.

To summarise

The Snapchat Pixel is still in closed beta so for the time being it can only be used by invited participants. However, the pixel will inevitably provide Snapchat advertisers with greater insight into the effectiveness of Snapchat as a platform and the role that it plays within the larger marketing funnel.

Whilst it is still too early to see whether Snapchat’s new releases will be enough to put them on par with industry leaders like Facebook and Instagram, the new pixel clearly represents a vital step taken to establish Snapchat as a key player in the social advertising landscape.

by Emily Smith
26 March 2018



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