More sophisticated targeting is coming to Snapchat as app embraces pixel tracking

The long-awaited feature will aid Snap in building out its performance marketing capabilities

Despite Snap's chief executive Evan Spiegel once denouncing "creepy" hyper-targeted ads, Snapchat has unveiled a tool called Snap Pixel which will allow advertisers to track conversation across platforms and, eventually, support more sophisticated targeting.

The long-awaited feature will aid Snap in building out its performance marketing capabilities, letting marketers connect the dots between ads served within Snapchat's walls and website traffic.

The tool, which works via a piece of code baked into an advertiser's site, will let brands measure the revenue, performance, growth, and acquisition driven by the app — including web visits, purchases, and sign-ups — across devices.

The Venice Beach-based firm also hinted that in time Snap Pixel will also support more sophisticated targeting, with the ability to create custom audiences based on the ways users engage with a brand's site. So, eventually Snap will be able to build audiences based on the speicific actions users take after seeing an ad; something its rivals like Facebook, Google and Twitter have been doing for years.

It's understood Snapchat will let users opt out of retargeting, and for now Pixel will be used for measurement purposes only.

The move comes on the back of several ad advancements from Snap, including the rollout of context cards and the addition of 14 creative partners to its roster to help brands drive ROI.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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