Alibaba’s Shopping App Mixes E-Commerce and Social Media

Alibaba is expanding beyond e-commerce into social media and entertainment with its mobile app Taobao. Founded in 2003 as a site for small businesses to sell directly to consumers, Taobao has since blossomed with social and entertainment, a “one-stop shop” paradigm that’s getting Chinese youth to spend more time on the site than visitors to Amazon and Twitter, and mobile revenue more than doubling in the most recent quarter. What helps to make the site so successful are its more than 1,000 special interest groups. Continue reading Alibaba’s Shopping App Mixes E-Commerce and Social Media

New Snapchat Ads API Helps Brands Lower Advertising Costs

Sources indicate that Snapchat will cut its advertising prices for brands, due in large part to its new ad platform that enables more options and experimentation. With the new API launched earlier this month, Snapchat can deliver ads through third party companies. Snapchat is dropping the cost of its ads API from a minimum of $500,000 when the platform first opened to ads, to a minimum of $100,000, say insiders. Advertisers have expressed concern regarding the high cost of working with Snapchat — and interactive ads in general — both of which are now coming down. Continue reading New Snapchat Ads API Helps Brands Lower Advertising Costs

Viacom Signs Multiyear Deal with Snapchat to Sell Advertising

Viacom just inked a multi-year deal with Snapchat to sell advertising for the vanishing-message app. Viacom will get a bigger investment in digital media and the millennial-focused Snapchat — which already carries content from Viacom’s MTV and Comedy Central — will get the chance to draw in bigger advertisers. In addition, Viacom will add the U.S. version of MTV and an international version of Comedy Central on Snapchat’s “Discover” page, where CNN, Vox, Mashable and The Wall Street Journal also have channels. Continue reading Viacom Signs Multiyear Deal with Snapchat to Sell Advertising

Code Reveals Potential Features for Snapchat Including Video

Developers have discovered code within the current version of Snapchat that may offer clues about new features coming to the popular messaging app. While Snapchat may not roll out the features, it does show that the company has been working on ways to ramp up competition with other messaging apps such as WeChat and FaceTime. The hidden code provides a framework for the integration of stickers to sell within the app and an enhanced video chatting system that works more like a phone call. Continue reading Code Reveals Potential Features for Snapchat Including Video

Sponsored Geofilters on Snapchat Draw in Advertising Dollars

Mobile video and messaging app Snapchat has become increasingly appealing to advertisers, who are using sponsored geofilters to turn their users into brand ambassadors. Although Snapchat still hasn’t built out its basic advertising infrastructure, advertisers are signing up to run fledgling campaigns in which people can add geofilters only when they are in specific locations. Among the brands that have launched such campaigns are Nike, GE, Target and McDonald’s. Some videos generate between 30 and 50 million views. Continue reading Sponsored Geofilters on Snapchat Draw in Advertising Dollars

Snapchat Partners with Square to Offer New Payment Feature

Snapchat users will now have the ability to send and receive money from friends using a new payment feature called Snapcash. The feature is the latest upgrade to a mobile app that originally began with simple photo-sharing capabilities. To make payments possible, Snapchat partnered with Square, a payments company that recently launched a similar feature to work for email and its own mobile app. Snapcash is available for Android users, with an iOS release coming soon.  Continue reading Snapchat Partners with Square to Offer New Payment Feature

Facebook Debuts Hyper-Local Ads, Snapchat Ads Coming Soon

Facebook unveiled its hyper-local advertising feature this week. “Local Awareness” ads are designed to be more targeted and cost effective by allowing businesses to select a specific area for advertising and the age and gender of the desired audience. Meanwhile, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel says, “People are going to see the first ads on Snapchat soon.” The LA-based startup, which makes a mobile app for sharing brief photo messages, attracted investors this year at a $10 billion valuation without any revenue. Continue reading Facebook Debuts Hyper-Local Ads, Snapchat Ads Coming Soon

Advertising May Result From $10 Billion Snapchat Investment

Snapchat is expecting a $10 billion investment from VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Even though the startup does not have a clear business model, its valuation has increased dramatically from last year’s $2 billion. The investment could help Snapchat advance into the advertising world, a move that is expected this year. Snapchat, which is the third-most used app among millennials, may become a viable platform for generating revenue from the age group through advertising. Continue reading Advertising May Result From $10 Billion Snapchat Investment

Snapchat Mobile App Plans to Add News Content and Sell Ads

Snapchat, the mobile app that creates vanishing messages and currently touts 27 million users, may soon become a service for distributing television and movie clips, news videos and articles, and advertisements. According to people familiar with the matter, the startup has met with advertisers and media companies in recent weeks about a service to launch in November called Snapchat Discovery. At least a dozen newspapers, magazines and TV networks have reportedly discussed providing content. Continue reading Snapchat Mobile App Plans to Add News Content and Sell Ads