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Snapchat Introduces New Targeting Options for Marketers

Tim Maytom

Snapchat-Selfie.jpgSnapchat is expanding its targeting capabilities in the hope of drawing in new advertisers and improving results for existing partners with tools including the ability for marketers target customers using email databases.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the picture messaging app firm is rolling out three new targeting options for marketers, which will address a variety of marketer needs.

Snap Audience Match will enable marketers to take existing lists of email addresses and mobile device IDs, and anonymously match that data to Snapchat's own first-party data, enhancing the ad targeting process.

The company has reportedly been quietly testing this capability over the past few months with brands like eBay, and has taken care to ensure it does not employ any personally identifiable data when executing these ad campaigns. Users will have the option to opt out of the Audience Match product.

The other two initiatives are called Snapchat Lifestyle Categories, which will enable brands to direct ads based on the types of videos they consume, such as sports or gaming contnet, and Lookalikes, which will target ads at users who are similar to an advertiser's existing customers, based on a variety of metrics.

While all three tools are considered standard fare for most digital advertising platforms, their introduction on Snapchat signals that the company is reaching out to marketers and warming up to more advanced targeting methods, which it has previously avoided. Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder of Snapchat, has previously said that he doesn't want consumers using the app to be served "creepy" ads.

"Snapchat’s recent push to serve users more targeted ads will help the platform continue to resonate with millennials that are using it," said Nancy Lim, director of marketing at PureCars. "By now, it goes without saying that personalized ads are the most engaging, and this rings especially true on social platforms.

"Millennials in particular have always experienced relevant, targeted ads, and Snapchat is smart to keep up with the status quo. No one, after all, wants to be served a digital advertisement for something they’re not interested in. Right now, Snapchat is known for its quick, digestible content, and adding relevancy to their ad strategy will allow for even stronger engagement."