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Is This New Snapchat Ad Feature Cool — or Creepy? (Watch)





Snapchat may soon be able to sell ads based on things it recognizes in users’ photos. The company recently filed a patent for a behavioral targeting system that uses image recognition software to find specific items and then suggest filters based on those items.

So for example, if Snapchat recognizes that a photo includes the Empire State Building, it could suggest a King Kong filter. Or if you’re a New York City tourism company, you could potentially pay to have your own filter available when Snapchat recognizes the Empire State Building or other popular landmarks.



The Double-Edged Sword of Behavioral Targeting

The technology presents an interesting opportunity for advertisers. But it also presents some unique privacy issues for consumers. Some might not appreciate the fact that an app can recognize what’s in their photos and then use that information for ad targeting.

That’s one of the major issues that businesses have to navigate in today’s world of online advertising. This technology from Snapchat isn’t available yet. And it may not even become available. But even the possibility requires businesses to consider what to do when it comes to new ad formats. Becoming an early adopter of this new Snapchat feature and other potential ad formats could lead to unique targeting opportunities for businesses. But it could also lead to privacy issues that could impact consumer opinions.

Snapchat Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions
  1. Okay. So now they are scanning our photos. But isn’t it better to just look at what photos we are interested in?

    • I think that’s basically what they’re trying to do – just in a more high-tech way so that it can be done on a mass level. We’ll see whether or not people are actually okay with that idea though.

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