Marketers and Snap’s My AI – what brands need to know

Published: May 03, 2023

min read

Snap has big plans for AI-brd ads in its My AI Chat which it shared in its NewFronts showcase for advertisers. It said that it was testing out the idea of “sponsored links” in My AI – this is very similar to Microsoft testing ads in Bing Chat.

This is how it would work. If someone was chatting with AI about video games, then it would show a sponsored link to other related games. Or if they were chatting about food, it would then show links to restaurants.

At Snap’s NewFront in Lincoln Center in New York, it also covered new content, new video ad formats and new creator services. It also talked about a new platform that could be used by brands to connect with Snap stars.

Snapchat has been working hard to be the first mainstream social media platform to incorporate ChatGPT, the very popular AI text generator into its services. And so last month, during its partner summit, Snapchat launched My AI opening it out to everyone after a short experimental period during which it was available only as a part of its paid subscription Snap service.

My AI was an instant hit and users clamored to talk with the AI assistant and test the limits of its knowledge. Along with this massive fascination also came a sense of fear – some were concerned about how prominent My AI appeared within the Snapchat experience. Some others were worried about how Snap’s AI knew their location. To clarify, Snap released a statement clarifying that My AI only knew the location information that Snap users already permitted the service to access through features such as Snap Maps.

Search powered by AI is the first thing one thinks of – people talk to the chatbot and ask for recommendations and the answers can contain links that are sponsored or promoted.

Snap is also using AI to help create the animated filters that users put in their videos. AI is also a big part of the algorithms that recommend content.

Snap also launched what it calls “first Story” ads which is the most prominent ad slot that appears in between friends’ video stories. Snap was testing it with Louis Vuitton, Warner Bros. Discovery, saying that these ads could reach 50 million people in the U.S. Apart from this, Snap is opening Spotlight ads globally – Spotlight was launched in 2020 as a competition to TikTok, with short-form videos. It has started to test ads there as well.

Marketing in an AI world

We know that AI just makes anything better. AI-brd ads in Snap is a great advantage for marketers. Brands and marketers have the opportunity to be seen where it matters the most. In a chat about video games, it would show a sponsored link to other related games. Or if they were chatting about food, it would then show links to restaurants. The sponsored links would appear based on the need of the one using Snap’s My AI. Targeting is very sharp – making it an absolute winner.

But to be seen even as the sponsored link, marketers must create some really great content that will stand out. There will be other advertisers – and regardless of the fact that the ad shows up where it is most relevant, the ads must pop! AI can help optimize the ads as well!

One can expect the search on AI chatbots to move from a transactional event to something more conversational. The more details the user gives, the search is refined more and more so the user finds exactly what he is looking for.

On the flip said, these paid ads can get expensive. There is not a whole lot of real estate for the ads to sit in, so the few prime spots will cost brands to be there.

From a user’s point of view, there could be some backlash (as is already happening) with regard to privacy. The whole idea of Snap is that it is ephemeral (unless specified otherwise) and the user can be anonymous – and can be anywhere on the planet. But here, the platform uses the data about users to do some fine – (but privacy be damned) geo-targeting.

But Gen Z and the younger generation expect technology to help make their lives easier and so this is something they would really love. Or won’t they? They are a private lot. So we shall wait and watch how this pans out.


Sarah Johnson

Sarah is an analytical marketing expert with a passion for data-driven insights. She has a keen eye for detail and a talent for turning complex information into actionable strategies. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, travel, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.


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