Snap Promotes ‘My AI’ Sponsored Links Tests, New Ad Slots

Snap is testing sponsored links for My AI, the chatbot introduced a year ago with Snapchat+ and made available free to all users last month. “We’re experimenting with new ways that My AI can surface useful information at the right moment during conversations. This includes early testing of sponsored links to connect our community with partners relevant to the conversation in the moment,” Snap said as part of its NewFronts announcements, emphasizing paid chat links are in “an early, experimental phase.” Messaging is a core Snapchat functionality, making conversational AI a natural enhancement, Snap Americas president Rob Wilk said.

Snap recently announced Wilk will oversee sales in the newly created position. He was previously global head of advertising at Microsoft. At the IAB NewFronts, Wilk and Snap chief creative officer Colleen DeCourcy discussed the My AI sponsored links test and unveiled new premium ad positions, including video pre-roll ads in Snapchat’s Stories as well as in its TikTok-like Spotlight feature.

“The announcements come at a key time for Snap’s ad business, which saw its sales fall for the first time as a public company, despite a 15 percent year-over-year increase in Snapchat users to 383 million,” according to TechCrunch, which says first quarter results across the digital industry generally “made clear that the advertising rebound that had boosted Meta during Q1 was not yet benefiting the wider social app ecosystem.” Google’s YouTube ad business also declined by nearly 3 percent in Q1.

As discussed at the NewFronts, Snap’s plan for My AI is to soon have it sending out generative Snaps to Snapchat+ subscribers. For now, it can suggest Lenses and places from the Snap Map.

As for the sponsored link tests, they involve placing links to things like restaurants or food delivery apps as part of My AI’s response to a query about where to go for dinner. Or if a user was booking a weekend trip, My AI could share sponsored links from airlines, car rentals and hotels.

In its NewFronts press release, Snap detailed its First Story offering, positioning it as part of a “takeover lineup, following First Commercial and First Lens.” Snap says First Story has a “potential daily reach of nearly 50 million” users, which is enough to attract Louis Vuitton and Warner Bros. as early First Story partners.

According to Variety, “Warner Bros. has booked the first global First Story takeover campaign for ‘The Flash,’ set to hit theaters June 16.”

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