Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, has announced the launch of a new video ad format: Extended Play Commercials. The new, mid-roll ad type maintains the 6-second non-skippable format – but offers advertisers the ability to extend the runtime beyond the 6-second mark for up to three minutes.

Similar to YouTube TrueView ads, with Extended Play Commercials, Snapchat users will have the option to either skip the ad after six seconds or continue to watch the full video commercial. The key difference is that Snapchat’s Extended Play Commercials will appear mid-roll, rather than pre-roll like YouTube.

Why we should care

The extended ad format offers advertisers an opportunity to deliver a 6-second teaser that can then roll into a longer length commercial for viewers who may be more engaged.

“Extended Play Commercials are a great option for online video and TV buyers. Heading into the holidays, this format is a powerful new way to reach our Gen Z and Millennial audience in Snapchat’s premium, brand safe Discover content,” said David Roter, VP of global agency partnerships at Snap.

The added option of a longer-form ad provides advertisers with more options and flexibility around the types of content served through the platform. For example, some brands may want to deliver more context or a richer story for users who choose to keep watching, as with YouTube’s TrueView ads.

More on the news

  • In September, Snapchat introduced a skippable ad format that can run up to three minutes long. Extended Play Commercials are similar but run as a continuation of the 6-second format rather than as a standalone 3-minute ad.
  • Extended Play Commercials are now available in closed beta, with whitelisted advertisers able to access them in Ads Manager.
  • Any Snapchat advertiser can request access to the beta test from their sales representative – or by reaching out via Ads Manager.

About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.


Snapchat has opened a beta for Dynamic Ads, which automatically creates — and updates — product ads to run on the app.

The Dynamic ads are available in a wide array of templates and aimed at retail, e-commerce and DTC brands that have a product catalog uploaded to the platform. As product details such as price or availability are updated, the Dynamic Ads adjust accordingly.

“Snapchat Dynamic Ads now allow brands to create real-time optimized mobile ads quickly and at scale, with products showcased in visually-appealing templates that feel native to the app,” said Snap Group Product Marketing Manager of Direct Response Kathleen Gambarelli.

The beta for the ads is available to all advertisers, but the ads will only reach U.S. users for now. The company plans to expand it to more markets in the coming months. Advertisers must contact Snap to part of the beta.

Why we should care

As we head into the holidays, e-commerce brands will be looking for every available opportunity to reach shoppers. Snapchat’s Dynamic Ads give the platform room to elbow its way into the social media ad budgets that are largely allocated to Facebook and Instagram. Considering Snapchat’s reported hold on Gen Z and Millennials (more than 75% of 13 to 34-year olds in the U.S. active on the app), it is a prime platform for advertisers targeting younger audiences.

As with the dynamic ad capabilities of Facebook, Google and Pinterest, Snapchat’s Dynamic Ads reduce the amount of time and effort it takes to create and maintain product ads.

Shady Rays Polarized Sunglasses was given early access to Dynamic Ads and reported a 66% decrease in cost per purchase and 286% increase in ROAS compared to a retargeting initiative that ran simultaneously. “Having used their Catalogs to manually create ads in the past, we were excited by the prospect of automating this process end-to-end,” said the company’s CEO Chris Ratterman.

More on the news

  • Vitaly Design, another advertiser given early access, said Snap’s Dynamic Ads saved the company time and showcased products “in their best possible light,” resulting in a 21% decrease in cost-per-purchase and a 29% increase in ROAS.
  • Snapchat reports users spend an average of 30 minutes a day on the app, with daily users opening the app more than 20 times a day.
  • For advertisers that reach out to the company now to set up Dynamic Ads campaigns, Snap said the ads will start running within one to two weeks.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.


Snapchat has announced a number of updates for video advertisers, including an increase to the duration of all Snap Ads, more interactive features for its six-second non-skip Commercials and Goal-Based Bidding.

Snap Ads can now run three-minutes long. Previously, the maximum duration for a Snap Ad was ten-seconds. Snap has significantly increased the maximum duration for all of its ads to 180-seconds. The company said that the user experience will not change (users will still be able to skip or interact with ads as they always have), but now advertisers can run longer ads on the platform.

Swipe-up feature for Commercials. Snap’s six-second non-skippable Commercials were introduced as video-only ads, with no interactive features attached. The company has now made it possible for users to swipe-up on these ad units — same as its other ad formats — launching either a web view, long-form video or camera attachment.

Snap reports that Commercials sold via its ad auction platform are seeing $10 to $12 CPMs, and an average cost-per-completed-view (CPCV) of $0.01.

Goal-Based Bidding to optimize for 15-second video views. Snap advertisers are getting a new bidding option to optimize for longer, 15-second video views. With Goal-Based Bidding the company aims to deliver a new level of ad engagement for with the newly optimized bidding model.

Why we should care. Snapchat, the platform known for its ephemeral content, is opening the doors to expanded, long-form video ads that drive more engagement. The audiences currently watching longer videos on the platform are growing: Snap reports the number of daily Discover viewers has increased 35% year-over-year. The total daily time spent by users watching Shows more than tripled compared to watch-time during the second quarter of 2018.

With these added video offerings — and its hold on younger audiences (Snapchat reports its user base includes 75% of 13 to 34 year olds in the U.S.) — Snap is making way to take a larger chunk of the video advertising market.

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DoubleVerify, an audience measurement and verification solution, is now a Snapchat Measurement Partner, adding to the list of social media platforms DoubleVerify partners with to provide viewability measurement.

Why we should care

DoubleVerify offers the most comprehensive third-party viewability measurement for Snapchat campaigns, with coverage across Snapchat’s Filter, Lens, Snap Ad (display and video) and Story Ad formats. It is the only measurement provider approved to measure viewability on Snapchat Lens campaigns.

The company now has measurement partnerships with Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. By adding Snapchat, DoubleVerify can now offer customers a more comprehensive package to verify their social advertising campaigns — keeping them from having to turn to a variety of solutions to monitor viewability and ad fraud.

“Measurement across platforms can vary dramatically,” said DoubleVerify CEO Wayne Gattinella, “DoubleVerify uses consistent evaluation standards across environments — including web, mobile app and social, making it easier for advertisers to benchmark performance across their entire media plan.”

More on the news

  • Snapchat has more limited partnerships with third-party viewability measurement providers Moat and Integral Ad Science. Moat is approved to audit Snap Ads, Story Ads and Filters, but not Lenses. Integral Ad Science can audit viewability for Snap Ads.
  • In January, DoubleVerify announced an integration with MoPub, to help advertisers reduce invalid traffic and in-app ad fraud on the Twitter-owned mobile ad exchange.
  • A recent report from the ANA revealed that ad fraud losses will total $5.8 billion globally in 2019.

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Snapchat rolled out a new “Instant Create” tool that allows advertisers to quickly build an ad by selecting the ad’s objective (web visits, app installs or app visits), entering the business URL and choosing targeting filters. The tool will automatically pull images from the URL entered and size them appropriately, or advertisers can upload images manually.

“Instant Create includes a streamlined ad creation flow that leverages our most popular templates and simplified ad detail options, enabling you to publish engaging creative without additional design resources,” said Snapchat on its business blog.

Why we should care

For SMBs or marketers that lack the budgets and resources, Snapchat’s “Instant Create” offers an easy-to-use tool for creating a quick single-ad campaign with minimal design requirements. It also offers marketers who have yet to advertise on Snapchat a way to try out the platform without investing a lot of time or energy in building a comprehensive campaign with multiple ad sets.

During Snap’s most recent earnings report, the company’s Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman mentioned that the company had begun trying out the new ad tool.

“Just this month we started testing our new Instant Create onboarding flow, which generates ads for businesses in three simple steps from their existing assets, be it their app or their ecommerce storefront,” said Gorman, “We are removing friction from our self-serve tools with products like Instant Create that decrease the time and creative investment required for smaller, resource-constrained advertisers.”

More on the news

  • The Instant Create ad tool currently only supports Snap Ads.
  • It is available to all advertisers and can be accessed via Snapchat’s self-serve ad platform.
  • Directions for building an ad using Instant Create can be found on Snapchat’s Campaign Guide.

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