- Snap this year will start streaming its first shoppable show on Snapchat, the company announced during its virtual presentation for the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Digital Content NewFronts. "The Drop" will focus on streetwear collaborations with celebrities and designers, according to an announcement shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer.
- Its original programming lineup also includes a makeup competition show called "Fake Up" sponsored by Verizon, which is also its 5G innovation partner. The show, which features optical illusion makeup artists who transform their faces into works of art, will have augmented reality lenses that let Snapchat users virtually try on the looks.
- Snap also announced a return of "Driven," an original series about custom cars whose first season drew more than 15 million viewers. The second season will premiere later this year or in early 2021, per the announcement.
Snap's programming lineup is notable for adding a show that more deeply blends content and commerce, helping to transform Snapchat into a direct sales channel. E-commerce is a bigger priority for media platforms in demonstrating business outcomes, as seen with Hulu's announcement at this week's NewFronts of a direct response ad format to let viewers interact with commercials they see on the Disney-owned streaming service.
Snap is gradually adding more shopping features, such as its dynamic product ads that were introduced last fall. Sportswear brand Adidas experimented with the format, which was expanded worldwide this year, and boosted its return on advertising spending (ROAS) 52% in several European countries. The test demonstrated the potential for Snapchat to turn passive users into active shoppers, closing the loop between seeing an ad and making a purchase.
The company's NewFronts presentation mostly focused on its programming lineup that's going to be more central to the Snapchat user experience. As announced at its Snap Partner Summit this month, the company is introducing an "action bar" to help users find more curated content in its Discover section that features a mix of original shows, content from publishers and posts from celebrities and influencers.
Snap also provided updated data about its audience and their usage habits. The company says it has more U.S. daily active users ages 25 and up than Twitter's entire U.S. monetizable daily active user base among all age groups. Snapchat added 23% incremental reach to TV campaigns among advertisers' target demographics on average, a Nielsen analysis found. Snapchat helped snack brand Doritos drive an incremental reach of 168% among light TV viewers ages 18 to 49. Bud Light's campaign on Snap Select, which lets media buyers reserve commercials in Snapchat Discover shows, delivered 46% incremental reach against light TV viewers. More than half of Snapchat's Generation Z user base comes from an ethnically diverse background, per Snap.
The app is among the social media companies that are expanding their shopping features as they face a growing threat from e-commerce giant Amazon, which quickly became the third-biggest digital ad platform in the U.S. Google this week released an ad format for YouTube that lets retailers turn their video ads into shoppable experiences for viewers. Facebook has expanded the shopping features on its social network, most recently with the introduction of Facebook Shops, a feature to help small businesses in the U.S. turn their social media profiles into digital storefronts. Facebook's Instagram has added a variety of shopping features in the past couple of years, including the opening of a digital storefront for Target last month. Pinterest this month added a shopping feature to its image-recognition tool, the latest in a series of e-commerce initiatives.