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Asos plots further Snapchat activity despite admitting it provides 'virtually no data at all'

Asos has admitted that despite the scarcity of engagement data available from Snapchat it will continue to use the messaging app to reach its much heralded core user base of teenage consumers.

The revelation highlights concerns among advertisers that the cost of the platform’s ads, reportedly $750,000, is overpriced given their lack of granularity. Asos is not thought to have paid for ads on the site yet, however its activations to date, which have all been through organic posts, are stifling efforts to find out how people are interacting with its content.

Hannah Craik, social media head at Asos, told The Drum that Snapchat provides “virtually no data at all".

“To know how many followers we have on the Asos account we have to count them up manually,” she revealed. "We do know a few things: our customers use Snapchat and want us to. We do see engagement on Snapchat – with our posts, people snapping us their pics and followers growth – as long as the platform remains relevant to our customers and we continue to see engagement, we are confident it's the right place for us to be.

Asos joined Snapchat in July 2013 and past activity has included sending followers unique discount codes, as well as snaps of different outfits. Craik admitted that whilst Asos is very much in the early days of its Snapchat content it plans to roll out bigger activations later in the year as the messaging app allows the retailer the opportunity to reach and engage its consumers.

“We are very much in the early days of our Snapchat activity so I'm sure it will evolve a lot. We are currently focusing on creating content that we feel matches user behaviour and we are planning some bigger Snapchat activations for this year. As the platform and people's behaviour on it evolves, we will keep developing our use and content.

“Despite how new it is, Snapchat is a real contender in terms of reach within our customers, and the ability it offers in building relationships with those customers. The latter is quite unique amongst social platforms so it is important for us to be on Snapchat and to be creating great content.”

Scott Ross, UK chief technology officer at DigitasLBi, told The Drum that the use of Snapchat amongst brands is still “very primitive”, partly due to the fact that it hasn’t yet found an advertising model tailored to marketers.

“When I look at Snapchat it feels a lot like it’s a really great product that’s trying to find a revenue model in terms of the advertising…it doesn’t seem like they’ve developed an advertising offer that works for media - the whole model behind Snapchat was that it was meant to be a little bit more personal and a bit more private.

“As a result it’s very, very difficult for advertisers and marketers to get the metrics they need to validate their campaigns and media spend.”

Ross called out the difference between creating content and advertising on the app, the former of which is free to do, and called the ad price tag “completely unproven”.

“It feels like Snapchat almost pulled that number out of the air to test the water and see if people would pay for it,” he added.

Snapchat introduced adverts to its platform late last year, with McDonald’s, Samsung and Macy’s some of the early adopters. Its decision to demand $750,000 for its new disappearing ads hasirked some advertisers, many of which are nervous about splashing out such a significant investment on activity that is unmeasurable.

Natalie Mortimer

Natalie is The Drum's fashion, design, luxury and food & drink reporter.

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