Snapchat Introduces: Create Your Own Custom Filters

Filters are one of the more popular features on Snapchat, from face recognition, geo-filters, fast-forward and rewind, the list goes on.  This past week, Snapchat just announced that its users can now create and customize their own filters.

In their most recent marketing communications, Snapchat released a video that showed both how to use this new feature, and why anyone would want to use it.

It was absolutely genius.

“You can use their website to custom-build your filter, which includes a geographic area, a date, and a time for the filter to pop up. You then have to submit a graphic that lines up with Snapchat’s guidelines, which include no photos of people, no contact information, and no covering up too much of the screen. Snapchat will personally approve your filter before it becomes available, and the process will take about one day” (Seventeen Magazine, 2016).

The video Snapchat released explaining these instructions was so simple and enticing, a person with no graphic design experience could feel as if they could do it! There is however, one stipulation to this new feature: MONEY.

I believe the idea for this “customize your own filter” came in response to its users complaining about purchasing “face filters,” which was a widely received feature that was once free. The technology used face recognition to alter the user’s face with filters such as: crying tears, puppy dog face, and the most famous: the-rainbow-out-of-the-mouth filter.

5434512e-839e-4ef4-af24-bdedca6ef0d1Now, however, Snapchat has found new ways outside of advertising money to monetize, which is great for business. Snapchat has continuously proved itself with an ability to innovate and keep its users coming back. The only stipulation to this awesome new feature, is of course, cost. Users would essentially be paying the company for their own creation, and the right for others to use it. With their target marketing being millennials and Generation Z, money isn’t always at their finger tips, so it will be interesting to see how Snapchat’s users will receive this new add-on.

In sum, I leave you with the following thoughts:

• Do you think users will embrace this new feature despite the cost?
• What other marketing communications could Snapchat use in order to persuade its users to use this new feature?
• How can companies use this feature to its advantage? Would it be useful, or detrimental?


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4 Responses to Snapchat Introduces: Create Your Own Custom Filters

  1. Linda says:

    I’ll admit, I just didn’t “get” Snapchat when it first came out. Now though, I do feel that Snapchat has come a long way. With the addition of new features, like the lenses and “stories,” Snapchat has gotten to be a lot more fun (to me). The release of these customizable filters seems like something I would be into…but I likely would never actually purchase it unless I was planning some big event, like a wedding or a family reunion. I do feel that businesses and other events (such as music festivals) could embrace the feature as it’s an organic way for businesses to take advantage of Snapchat users and their personal networks. It’s taking the Facebook “like” to another level.

  2. Noor Eid says:

    Thanks for your post! I am a huge fan of snapchat and I’ll happily admit that I use it all day, everyday. I think that the paid filters have pros and cons. These paid filters create this exclusivity that makes users want it more and maybe can persuade users to purchase the filter in order to have access to something not everyone on snapchat does. However, like you mentioned, millennials and users of snapchat may not have the money to spend on additional filters let alone on a custom one. However, there are individuals who I am sure are willing to splurge. I think it might be useful for snapchat to market these filters as ways for individuals to make a special event more fun and engaging. For example, a user might create and be willing to pay for a custom filter that their friends and family can use at their wedding or graduation. I do agree that snapchat is finding innovative ways to monetize and constantly surprise and engage users. As a recent social media platform, they have come a long way in a short time and I am curious to see where the platform heads in the near future!

  3. Steffanie Liang says:

    Hi Ari,
    I really like your post. Thank you for sharing this with us, it’s really fascinating. I’m not sure if users such as Millennials and the Generation Z will be willing to embrace this new feature. For example, for me, I can always add some effects or filters using some other apps that are free for taking the picture. But I also agree with Noor that for some occasion people may want to use if to celebrate the special moments. The geographic, dates and time-frame feature is absolutely genius and user-friendly. If Snapchat could let their users a one-time free trial of this feature, that would be really nice too. They could require them to experience it first and provide feedbacks just like what Linkedin did for their Premium membership. So it will drag more people’s attention on this new feature. My only concerns is the privacy issue. It goes back to the other posts that I was commenting on that if a company will collect big data from people using their preset information such as the place, date, and time. Users may become vulnerable and predictable.

  4. janeyi says:

    Thanks for your post, Ari!! I actually made a Snapchat filter for my class the other day and found out the day before my presentation that Snapchat now lets people upload a filter that they want to make public! I am aware that one of Snapchat’s main struggles has been finding ways to make money because they don’t ask users to pay for much, other than to watch the advertisements that they sneak in the live story feeds every now and then. I also know that companies have been paying to feature their own filters whenever users are near their stores or even during movie premiers. While, I do think that this gives the brand awareness to the users, maybe they could also provide users with discounts when they take pictures with their filters and use this like a coupon when they purchase their items, products or services? The filters that Snapchat released are absolutely brilliant and I believe there’s tremendous opportunity for Snapchat to monetize this feature. I’m sure they won’t be asking users to pay a ridiculous amount to make the filters. The one thing that concerns me is, if there is an influx of users who want to make and submit their own filters, how will Snapchat go about choosing one filter over another when they are for the same location? Will they choose filters depending on how much the user is willing to pay? Based off of design? Nevertheless, I hope that Snapchat will continue to add new designs!