How Snapchat will earn money from your rainbow lens selfies.

Snapchat has created a real hype once again with its recent update where they have added several, entertaining lenses to the front camera. Even if you don’t use Snapchat yourself, it seemed impossible to miss out on this news, since it was the talk of the day on all social media websites. But Snapchat did not just add this feature so that you can entertain your friends with rainbows coming out of your mouth. This popular feature brings many advantages to the company, which could make them earn a lot of money and this is how.

Snapchat users may have noticed how on certain special occasions or holidays and at some locations, filters with a special sticker become available. The designs for these geofilters are submitted by users and originally started out as a holiday’s thing only, but in 2014 when Snapchat started gaining more popularity, big cities around the world started getting their own stamp. The popularity of these filters exploded and now there are over a million snaps with geofilter being sent every day (, 2015). In july this year it was revealed how not only regular Snapchat users will be able to submit geofilter designs, but also companies (, 2015). The first company that submitted their design was McDonalds and Snapchat charged them $20 per 1000 views, which might not seem a lot, but as mentioned before there are over a million snaps being sent every day and only in America there are 14,000 McDonald’s alone (LA times, 2015). The companies joining in on the geofilters profit from it too, because this could easily become a new way of advertising and the best part of it is how users don’t seem to find the ads annoying or creepy like the ones of Facebook, since they see it as a creative way to share their current location with their friends, whether that is at McDonalds or Starbucks (LA times, 2015).

The new lenses feature offers many possibilities to take the ads to an even higher level, where Snapchat could make branded lenses that are location based. Currently these lenses make the users curious. Everyone wants to try them out, so if there was a lens you could only try at McDonalds, people would go there to try it. Not only would the companies be able to benefit from this, but Snapchat as well since they could charge higher prices, which accompanied by more users would result in more revenue.



One response to “How Snapchat will earn money from your rainbow lens selfies.”

  1. raphaelspaans says :

    Very clever move from Snapchat. For apps like these it is hard to find new revenue streams, without making the experience too ‘cloudy’. Considering that most people enjoy using these stickers, it actually adds up too the experience!

    Besides Snapchat is also earning money from their functionality called ‘Discover’, where large publishers can post stories for the whole Snapchat community to see. It involves the same earnings model where Snapchat gets $100 per 1000 views.

    It made me wonder though, could there be any other ways for Snapchat to monetise their app? Obviously, if the user would need to pay, the app would soon lose users as happened before in history. So I was thinking of some options where other businesses would be willing to pay for Snapchat to display their content. It is also important to consider that it should add to the experience of the user. So these were some of the monetising options I thought of which could definitely be a win-win for both sides:
    – Promoting movie premieres through trailers
    – Promoting events (e.g. festivals, shows, opening of new attractions)
    – Promoting very specific products which interest you (e.g. university life of Erasmus, fishing gear)
    Thanks for this article. I enjoyed thinking from a Snapchat managerial point of view.

    Richmond, S. (2015) How Snapchat Makes Money,, June 19, 2015

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