Snapchat Adopts Advanced Targeting


Snapchat Adopts Advanced Targeting

Natalia Naranjo

Expected to roll out early this month, Snapchat is changing the way ads are targeted on their platform. Snapchat has had extremely limited targeting to date, so the below offerings suggest a shift towards the targeting granularity we’ve come to expect from social partners. While the upcoming features themselves are not groundbreaking for advertisers, having a better way to reach specific customers via Snapchat has the potential to shake up the current social media landscape.

What is Snapchat Actually Offering?

Snapchat is rolling out some different targeting options wherever vertical Video Snap Ads run (Ads between Stories, Discover, and Live).

Snap Audience Match

  • Allows advertisers to match their own lists of emails and mobile device IDs to Snapchat’s database for targeted ad delivery
  • 200% premium fee to target CRM exclusively
  • No premium for exclusion targeting


  • Allows advertisers to create and target a segment of users with similar demographic & behavioral profiles to their database
  • 150% premium to target Lookalikes exclusively

Behavioral Targeting

  • Allows advertisers to reach specific segments of users (e.g. Gamers, Fashionistas)
  • To date, brands have been limited to contextual targeting aligned to specific Live Stories or Discover partner inventory


  • Targeting updates will not be available for Lenses or Geofilters
  • Customer Segments must be matched via LiveRamp (Snapchat’s exclusive data partner at launch); minimum of 1,000 matched emails
  • There is not currently any opt-out functionality for customer targeting
  • Snapchat still lacks any retargeting capabilities
  • Audience-specific pricing and packages will be contingent on scale and negotiated directly with Snapchat

Next Steps with Snapchat

Historically, Snapchat’s targeting options were limited to broad audience targeting and age-gating opportunities for select partners. 

Snapchat’s offerings will bring them closer to competing with their social counterparts

Moving forward, Snapchat’s offerings will bring them closer to competing with their social counterparts, at least when it comes to Millennials. It’s important to keep in mind that this targeting still falls short compared to the robust targeting offerings of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that advertisers have grown accustomed to.

With its vast reach (150MM daily users), Snapchat has been a popular advertiser for broad reach, mass awareness campaigns. With these updates, Snapchat will be making a bid for consideration within narrowly targeted or customer-focused initiatives. According to eMarketer, Snapchat ad revenues are forecasted to increase by 155.1% in 2017.

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