Snapchat continues to pamper and wow its userbase with new and improved features and functions. Surprises in every update keep people coming back to one of the most prolific, most-used social media apps on the market, but what’s the deal with Snapchat’s “on-demand” filters? How are they different from Geofilters, data filters, and every other variety that we already have access to?
The easy answer is, they’re not different, except that they’re designed by you. Let’s explore the topic a little bit.
Anyone that’s been a part of the social media scene in the past couple of years is familiar with how media-rich it’s become. Images and videos are used to represent our lives, our feelings, our communications as often as (if not more often than) words themselves, which has given visual-centric apps like Snapchat a leading edge amongst our tech-savvy population. Practically everyone is packing a smartphone these days, and the Snapchat developers know it. Therefore, they’ve taken some of the most popular trends in messaging and social media and are continually shaping them around the foundational elements that got their app off the ground years ago.
Even with the addition of filters, stickers, video calling, and a plethora of other handy tools, Snapchat is still all about the snaps. Those images and videos that we take directly from important moments of our lives to share with our friends, which are then viewed and interpreted before they’re gone forever. 10 seconds for a snap, 24 hours for a story. Snapchat’s originating theme is still its guiding focus; we can immerse ourselves in social media that moves at the same speed as we do.
Not only is it addicting; it makes an awful lot of sense, and is handy for people that want their social media experiences to be fast.
It’s important to know just how well all of these moving parts fit together before we examine filters on demand, one of Snapchat’s newer features. Filters themselves have enjoyed a cozy appreciation and use in Snapchat; just look at the snaps from some of your friends and your bound to see filter use all over the place.
Filters on demand work just the same as Geofilters (which we’ll talk about momentarily), but they’re created by Snapchatters themselves, who have even chosen the geofence that applies to their particular filter. In short, this feature allows you to create Geofilters that are particular to a specific region and allows other users to access them once they’ve been approved by the Snapchat developers.
First, however, let’s take a brief look at how Geofilters work.
Though they work the same way as the simple, color-based filters available in Snapchat–and are even accessed the same way–Geofilters are actually dependent upon where you’re located. They require that Snapchat is able to access the location services on your mobile device before you’re able to use them, but once you have, you can apply filters to your snaps that denote a specific location in the world.
They’re a great way to add personality and zest to your snaps that also let people know where you are, sometimes without the need to spell it out specifically.
Note: If you’re not currently able to access Geofilters, make sure you hop into your mobile device’s settings and adjust accordingly! In iOS, you can turn the settings on for Snapchat alone, while Android will let you activate it for all apps, at once!
Geofilters and You
Considering how popular Snapchat has become, it’s only natural that every person using it wants their snaps to stand out amidst an ever-growing crowd. The way to do this is through personality, and your snaps will only exude the proper personality when you can truly make them your own. Using Geofilters can take a surprising amount of legwork out of this, and allow you to embrace your location as part of your life and your experience.
In short, they benefit you just as much as the area that you’re allowing your snaps to represent! Whether you’re Snapchatting while on vacation or from the comfort of a home region that you happen to be proud of, you’ll be showing off yourself and your own experience in a more noticeable light just as much as you’re flaunting that particular location.
Geofilters for Business
In addition to the benefits for users, Geofilters have also provided a clever method of monetization both for business as well as the Snapchat app itself. Considering that it’s free to download and use (and so too are almost all of the app’s features) it needs some method of making money to fuel all of this innovation and development, right?
Much of this comes in the form of monetized filters, whether it’s through filters that users have designed themselves or sponsored filters that businesses pay to distribute.
These types of filters are probably the closest relation to Snapchat’s on-demand filters (which we’ll talk about shortly!). If you’re the artistic type, Snapchat allows you to use original artwork and design a Geofilter for a selected region. Every once in a while, filters for select regions are chosen from the pool of submitted community filters, and are then applied to all users in that area to take advantage of! It’s a great (free) method for artists to contribute to their favorite chat applications, and also to represent a particular location.
Similar to community Geofilters, these are sponsored by companies and businesses (look to McDonald’s as one prime example.) They allow users that visit these businesses to use custom-designed filters that represent the brand sponsoring them, thereby generating buzz for themselves on one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, while at the same time allowing users to have access to new and unique filters for their snaps.
Finally, we arrive at the poster-child of our guide. On-demand Geofilters are still a relatively new addition to Snapchat, and they represent a clever method of monetization that gives users a huge range of creative freedom.
As stated above, on-demand Geofilters aren’t far separated in from community Geofilters. As far as users are concerned, they work much in the same way; you find yourself at a particular location, and if it currently has any Geofilters attached to it, you’ll be able to use them for your snaps.
However, community Geofilters are selected from an existing pool of free submissions from Snapchats army of faithful users. On-demand Geofilters are different in that they’re just that–on-demand! This feature allows people to design their own Geofilter, select a specific Geofence (a place in the world) for it to apply to, and then pay to make it distributable for a set period of time. Unlike community Geofilters, the optional fee allows users to distribute their filters as often as they’d like for limited periods of time. There’s no need to wait for your submission to be selected when you can simply pay to have it shared.
As long as your Geofence doesn’t exceed 5000 square feet, $5 can buy you 30 minutes of distribution time for a specific area. However, Snapchat won’t let just anything pop up anywhere that users choose to place it. In order to keep vulgar and lewd content off of their all-ages chat platform, all requests are personally reviewed and responded to within a 24-hour time period. This stipulation aside, it’s a fantastic way for users to get their work out in the wider world–as long as it’s meant for a specific region.
The potential for this new feature extends beyond the individual. Whereas sponsored Geofilters are usually relegated to larger corporations and business entities, on-demand Geofilters can easily be embraced by small businesses looking to host flash events or small-scale, location specific gatherings. One fee and an accurate geofence can land any small business or interest group a hip and trendy way to promote themselves for a limited period of time.
While it can be a costly feature to use, on-demand Geofilters provide a new and exciting way to dress up your Snapchat experience, this time by using your own, custom artwork. Do you have a place that’s important to you? A vacation spot or significant area that you and your friends want to use a custom filter to represent in your snaps? On-demand filters will let you do just that, and if we’re being honest $5 is a pretty slim fee to be able to take advantage of it!
Introduced only in February of 2016, Snapchat’s on-demand Geofilters are still a relatively new feature. There’s still plenty of room for them to grow and plenty of places in the world that could stand to see users’ custom filters showing up now and again. While they might never fully replace the free filters that are always available to Snapchatters no matter where they are, they’re a handy way for users to get what they want at a slim cost.
Have you had any experience with Snapchat’s newest feature? Share your thoughts about on-demand Geofilters in the comments below!