Snapchat’s program aims to win over mobile startups looking to acquire new users, the same type of advertiser that helped newly public Facebook overcome its ad problems.

A new­ly pub­lic com­pa­ny with mount­ing con­cerns over the via­bil­i­ty of its adver­tis­ing busi­ness, Snapchat in 2017 resem­bles Face­book in 2012. Now, to address the issue, Snapchat is tak­ing a page from Facebook’s play­book.

Snapchat has rolled out a pro­gram to win over the same type of mar­keter that Face­book relied on to build up its mobile ad busi­ness: mobile app devel­op­ers look­ing to acquire new users.

Called Snap Accel­er­ate, the pro­gram will help mobile star­tups to adver­tise on Snapchat by offer­ing them ben­e­fits includ­ing ear­ly access to new ad prod­ucts as well as cred­its that can be used to buy ads. A Snapchat spokesper­son said the com­pa­ny will not hold par­tic­i­pat­ing star­tups to its usu­al spend­ing require­ments, such as a com­mit­ment to spend a cer­tain amount on Snapchat ads over a cer­tain peri­od of time.

Snap Accel­er­ate is the lat­est exam­ple this year of Snapchat try­ing to low­er the bar­ri­er to entry for adver­tis­ers and attain must-buy sta­tus. After rolling out an adver­tis­ing API to enable brands to auto­mate their Snap Ad buys through third-par­ty ad-buy­ing tools, the com­pa­ny intro­duced a self-serve tool for busi­ness­es to buy Snap Ads on their own and a self-serve tool for busi­ness­es to cre­ate the ver­ti­cal video ads.

By cater­ing to star­tups, Snapchat is effec­tive­ly mak­ing a bet that its ads can help these com­pa­nies grow their user bases and, there­fore, their busi­ness­es. If suc­cess­ful, those com­pa­nies will not only have more mon­ey to spend on adver­tis­ing but will be more like­ly to spend that mon­ey on Snapchat’s ads. Addi­tion­al­ly, case stud­ies of their suc­cess­es may lead oth­er com­pa­nies to adver­tise on Snapchat. After all, it worked for Face­book.

Accord­ing to a page on Snapchat’s devel­op­er site, the pro­gram is aimed at com­merce, enter­tain­ment and gam­ing star­tups that oper­ate con­sumer-fac­ing mobile apps and are inter­est­ed in direct-response adver­tis­ing. In oth­er words, it is meant to attract the same types of com­pa­nies that had flocked to Facebook’s mobile app-install ads in 2012 and 2013 to help that social net­work not only over­come con­cerns about its ad busi­ness but also con­quer the mobile ad mar­ket.

All mar­keters who apply and are accept­ed into the Snap Accel­er­ate pro­gram will be cred­it­ed with mon­ey they can use to pay for ad cre­ation and to buy ads on Snapchat. They will also receive ear­ly access to new ad prod­ucts and tools, as well as Snap’s Mar­ket­ing API. They will also be able to run a free brand­ed fil­ter around their company’s head­quar­ters for a cer­tain peri­od of time. How­ev­er, these ben­e­fits vary based on which of the program’s three tiers a com­pa­ny qual­i­fies for.

The three tiers appear to cor­re­spond with a par­tic­i­pat­ing company’s size and stage of growth, vary­ing from fledg­ling apps to star­tups that have hit a cer­tain lev­el of sus­tain­abil­i­ty. Here is a break­down of how the three tiers dif­fer.

Kickstart

  • The com­pa­ny is giv­en up to $20,000 worth of ben­e­fits, includ­ing cred­it to use for buy­ing ads and pay­ing for ad cre­ation.
  • A free brand­ed fil­ter is avail­able for three months.

Sprint

  • A com­pa­ny is giv­en up to $50,000 worth of ben­e­fits, includ­ing cred­it to use for buy­ing ads and pay­ing for ad cre­ation.
  • A free brand­ed fil­ter is avail­able for six months.
  • The com­pa­ny is invit­ed to Snap-host­ed edu­ca­tion events.
  • The com­pa­ny is giv­en pri­or­i­ty for busi­ness and tech­ni­cal sup­port from Snap.

Scale

  • The com­pa­ny is giv­en up to $100,000 worth of ben­e­fits, includ­ing cred­it to use for buy­ing ads and pay­ing for ad cre­ation.
  • A free brand­ed fil­ter is avail­able for 12 months.
  • The com­pa­ny is invit­ed to Snap-host­ed edu­ca­tion events, as well as pri­vate net­work­ing events.
  • The com­pa­ny is giv­en pri­or­i­ty for busi­ness and tech­ni­cal sup­port from Snap.

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