Today Marks History: Marketers Finally Have a Reason to Love Snapchat

Snapchat’s new “Paperclip” creative tool allows users to link to third-party websites through their snaps. Publishers who haven’t been able to land a coveted spot in Snapchat Discover can finally benefit from the service by promoting their websites on it… hopefully in a tasteful manner.

The update, which rolls out today, is a long-awaited signal that marketers may now be able to profit off of Snapchat in a measurable and meaningful capacity. The popular messaging platform has long held marketers at arms-length.

How It Works

Once you hit the paperclip icon to add a link, your friends can swipe up to visit your site.

Yes, this feature is like Clippy. Just less annoying, hopefully. And it may seem familiar to Instagram users, as The Verge reports:

“After today’s update, users can just tap a little paperclip icon located in the Vertical Toolkit and type in a link, which sounds a lot like what you can do in Instagram already if you’re a publisher or have a verified account.

Other new features in the update include backdrops, voice filters, and on-demand geofilters. Backdrops allow you to cut a selected area from your snap and put a colorful pattern on it, using the scissors icon. Just like regular Snapchat filters, the selection of backdrops will rotate daily.”

Opening Up

This news is the latest in several updates that show Snapchat is attempting to more directly commercialize itself, a pivot from its years-long status as the “cool” social network with limited ads and an avoidance of “pushiness.” You can still skip ads, but Snapchat has been dipping into the push notification well recently, and some have complained about received notifications even while logged out of the app.

With Instagram rapidly assimilating everything that makes Snapchat unique, the platform has to move quickly to prove that it’s worth the hype. Since going public, Snapchat has been signalling its willingness to continue developing new features not just for users, but for marketers as well. Of those features, Paperclip is the most high-profile tweak yet.

Read more about social media and marketing on TechCo

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Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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