Snapchat is not moving to the UK (but their adverts are!)

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According to much of the mainstream media, Snapchat announced this week that they’re moving their international headquarters to London. Naturally the press hailed this as a major post Brexit vote of confidence hailing the attractiveness of the UK as a major tech centre for the world.

Unfortunately, as confirmed in a blog post by Snap Inc themselves, the press kind of got it a little bit wrong and what Snap actually said is that they are going to “make a change to the way we operate our business in London. Going forward, we will bill our advertising revenue from the UK (and a few other countries) through a UK entity. This allows us to pay taxes in the UK, which we believe is part of being a good local partner as we grow our business“.

Snap Inc’s head office is in Venice and it’s going to stay there, but they want to pay taxes in the countries where they sell advertising which is why they’re going to bill though a UK entity.

Snapchat Advertising

snapchat-lensSo Snapchat advertising, what do they offer and should you be interested? Snapchat have 10 million daily active users in the UK and somewhat surprisingly 77% of UK users are over 18.

Snapchat have 10-second vertical, full screen mobile video ads that appear in the context of other Snaps, sponsored Geofilters (Tiny pieces of art overlays) and sponsored Lenses which are interactive play filters (basically turn your face into a Taco Bell or similar).

There are some downsides to Snapchat adverts, notably they’re very fast paced and transient, users spend less time on the platform than other social media sites (maybe 10-30 minutes per day compared to Facebook users 40+ minutes per day) and it’s hard to gather leads and next to impossible to get a user to click through to more information. Brand awareness works but Snapchat is not ready for ecommerce transactions yet, not least because there’s no payment methods built into the service.

Last year businesses like Coca Cola, Dominos and Unilever all put some ad spend on Snapchat and even the Department for Transport aimed filters at stoned drivers in their ‘Think!’ drug drive campaign.

Currently it’s way too early for small to medium sized businesses to consider advertising on Snapchat, it’s something best left to the marketplace to do on our behalf. In the US eBay feature deals on Snapchat although I’ve yet to see any activity in the UK (You’ll find eBay on Snapchat as @ebay).

One to watch, but if you’re wondering whether it’s time to spend some of your advertising budget on Snapchat it’s probably too soon… unless you have a budget in the £10s of thousands to spare, in which case we’d love to hear the results of your campaign.


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