Snapchat has turned off ad sharing on Discover channels run by major media companies, and brands want the option back, according to sources.
Ad sharing is one of the points Snapchat is discussing in ongoing negotiations over how Discover operates with media partners like BuzzFeed, IGN, Cosmopolitan and ESPN, among others, the sources said. Sharing is expected to return more broadly once they work out last-minute details, these sources said.
Snapchat introduced general Discover sharing in May, allowing people to click on content from media partners and pass it along to friends within the app. At first, ads were sharable, too, but now when you click on most sponsored content, a warning shows up saying the channel does not allow it. There are very few exceptions to the non-sharing rule.
Sharing is a fundamental component to rival platforms marketing offerings — brands on Facebook and Twitter try to create content that people actually want to re-post.
“That’s a capability that we would like them to add,” said one Snapchat advertiser.
If ads start getting shared more often, then users would see the sponsored content appear in personal messages from their contacts.
“There is huge potential for sharing ads on Snapchat,” said Nick Cicero, CEO of Delmondo, a marketing agency that specializes in Snapchat. “It would allow brands to get interactive, and it would drive engagement back through Discover.”
Discover partners allow their own content to be shared, and they create games, puzzles, fill-in-the-blank content, encouraging people to participate.
“We’ve had a couple conversations with advertisers that specifically want to do that — create something shareable that’s an ad,” said a Discover publishing source.
However, Snapchat is in the middle of negotiating a number of issues with publishers, sources said. It’s been about a month since Snapchat expanded Discover to include more media companies, like Tastemade and Mashable. Snapchat is ironing out some of the intricacies of the partnerships, going over how many ads they are allowed to sell and how they handle branded content on their channels, sources familiar with the talks said.
It’s unclear why the ad sharing was turned off, or even who was responsible. Snapchat declined to comment for this story.
“Our understanding was the publisher has the power of discretion,” said the Discover publishing source. “That’s the way the agreement reads: The publisher is in control of whether any individual piece of content can be saved or shared by user.”