Snapchat Geofilters
October 09, 2018

Snapchat Geofilters

Snapchat geofilters are artwork created by the members of the Snapchat community to represent a specific location, such as a landmark, a city, a university, a business, or an event. They can be used by other Snapchat members (“Snapchatters”) as overlays, when they submit their snaps. Think of Snapchat geofilters as enhancements for snapshots that tie the image to a specific location.

ALSO SEE: Snapchat for Business

Snapchat geofilters come in two versions, which are:

  1. A free version called the Snapchat Community Geofilter that can be created by anyone in the Snapchat community who follows the guidelines, and;
  2. A paid version, called the Snapchat On-Demand Geofilter, which individuals or businesses sponsor to promote themselves, their location, brand, products, services, or an event.

Snapchat Community Geofilters

Businesses (except schools) cannot submit a Snapchat Community Geofilter. They must submit an On-Demand Geofilter instead.

The Snapchat guidelines for creating a Community Geofilter do not allow logos or trademarks with the exception of a university or school logo. A school logo may be used as long as an official representative of that educational organization submits the Community Geofilter. They must prove to the Snapchat administration team that they have authorization to make the submission.

For other than schools, anyone in the Snapchat community can submit a Snapchat Community Geofilter.

Snapchat administration reviews all submission of Snapchat geofilters and either approves or rejects them. If Snapchat rejects a Community Geofilter, there is no explanation given as to why the rejection occurred or how to improve the submission.

This makes it a bit of a guessing game for those making Snapchat geofilter submissions. Helpful discussions exist on Reddit about how to improve geofilters to make them more likely to be accepted.

Other creative guidelines include:

  • Define the Area – Areas are identified by what is called a “geofence.” This designates the boundaries of the area.
  • Focus on a Specific Local Area – Limit the area covered by the geofence to a small place. Do not use a province, state, or country as the geographical area, as those geofilters will be automatically rejected.
  • Choose an Active Public Place – A good geofilter is a place where Snapchatters are likely to visit and make snaps to submit on Snapchat. It can be a specific neighbourhood, a landmark, or a non-commercial venue that naturally attracts visitors.
  • Submit Only Original Graphics – To avoid copyright problems, Snapchat only accepts original graphics for geofilters, which are submissions from the creators of the graphics. The creators of the graphics give permission for use of them on Snapchat without compensation.
  • No Photos or Hashtags – Geofilter submissions with photos or hashtags receive automatic rejection.
  • Visually Exciting – Make sure the graphic is attractive and interesting. Also, make sure it does not take up a large portion of the screen. This is because it will be an overlay that goes on top of photos submitted by Snapchatters.
  • Placement on the Screen – Consider how a photo will look with the geofilter overlay. A geofilter that is in the exact centre of the screen is not a good one. Most geofilters are at the bottom of the screen. Approval by Snapchat is less likely when they are in the upper corners.
  • Relevancy – This characteristic is what makes other Snapchatters want to use the geofilter.

Here are some good examples of Snapchat geofilters. Please note these examples show how the geofilter overlay works with a photograph behind it. The geofilter is only the graphics part, not the photo that is used with it, as shown in the examples.

Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters

Since people and businesses pay for the On-Demand Geofilters, the rules are quite different. Nevertheless, Snapchat reserves the right to reject any On-Demand geofilters that it finds unacceptable for the Snapchat community according to its guidelines.

There are two types of On-Demand Geofilters, which are:

  1. Personal On-Demand Geofilter – These are paid geofilters used to promote a personal event or party, such as a sweet-sixteen party, a wedding, or a birthday party. They are good for a private location such as a home. They can appear on Snapchat for up to thirty days. They cannot advertise a business or use any trademarks or logos.
  2. Business On-Demand Geofilter – These are paid geofilters used to promote a business, a product, service, or a commercial event. They also can place an advertisement over a public space, such as a city park.

On-Demand Geofilter Guidelines for Businesses

Snapchat has specific rules that businesses must follow to have an On-Demand Geofilter approved.

Here is a summary of the guidelines for businesses:

  • Businesses must have the authorization necessary to use any logo or trademark.
  • Content must be original and not violate any copyrights of others.
  • On-Demand Geofilters exist for a maximum of thirty days.
  • The geographical location covered is determined by setting up a geofence. The area must be a minimum of at least 20,000 square feet. The maximum area is 5 million square feet.
  • No photographs of people are permitted.
  • No telephone numbers, email addresses, or website URLs are permitted.
  • No content that relates to drugs is permitted. Alcohol requires case-by-case approval.
  • The geofilter needs to be relevant, not cover too much of the screen, and something Snapchatters would enjoy sending to friends.

When Snapchat rejects a submission of an On-Demand Geofilter by a business, Snapchat gives information about why the rejection happened with suggestions for improvement and resubmission.

Pricing for On-Demand Geofilters

The pricing depends on whether the On-Demand Geofilter is a personal one or promoting a business. The cost also depends on the size of the geofence, the dates and times the geofilter will run, and for how long it will run.

To get a price quote, first have a Snapchat account, and then go to the pricing page for geofilters. Enter the times and dates for the geofilter to run and location information about the geofilter to get a quote.

Technical Information About Geofilters

Here are the technical details of how to create a geofilter and how to submit one. Make sure you sign up for a free Snapchat account to access the Snapchat system, if you do not already have one.

All geofilters have these technical specifications:

  • PNG File Format – Geofilters are transparent image files in the .png format only (no gifs or jpegs). They are optimized for web usage. When creating one, choose the settings of: 1) .png file format of PNG-24; 2) transparency, and; 3) “save for web.”
  • Dimensions – The PNG must have a height of exactly 1920 pixels and a width of exactly 1080 pixels.
  • File Size – The PNG file size must be less than 300 kB.

Creation and Submission of Geofilters

Steps to Create and Submit Community Geofilters

  1. Already have an existing Snapchat account or register for a new one by downloading the app. You will need a smartphone that has either the iOS or Android operating system.
  2. This is the webpage to use to create and submit a Community Geofilter.
  3. An Adobe Illustrator template and an Adobe Photoshop template are available for download, to make it easier to create a geofilter.
  4. Use the interactive map to select the geofence area.
  5. Upload the image.
  6. Fill out the submittal form information and click submit.

Steps to Create and Submit Community Geofilters

  1. Already have an existing Snapchat account or register for a new one by downloading the app. You will need a smartphone that has either the iOS or Android operating system.
  2. This is the webpage to use to create and submit an On-Demand Geofilter.
  3. An Adobe Illustrator template and an Adobe Photoshop template are available for download, to make it easier to create a geofilter.
  4. Select the geofence area.
  5. Choose the times and dates for the geofilter to run.
  6. Upload the image.
  7. Fill out the submittal form information and click submit.

Interesting Usage of Geofilters

With a Community Geofilter there is a pride of recognition, because the Snapchatter who created it is identified. In this way, the geofilter is similar to the graffiti tagging that occurs in the real world. When a particular geofilter becomes popular, it is like making your mark on that part of the Snapchat digital world.

Some businesses who pay for On-Demand Geofilters found unique ways to use them. Snapchat has a policy of allowing On-Demand Geofilters that follow its submission guidelines to show up on the geofence area that includes a competitor’s business. This allows a business to put their geofilter ads directly in front of the eyes of their competitor’s customers.

Another interesting use of On-Demand Geofilters came from advertising agency 180LA. They used them to poach talented employees from competitors in Northern California and entice them to relocate to Los Angeles.

Since Snapchat allows such geofilter “wars,” there will probably be much more of this occurring.

Summary

Community Geofilters keep Snapchatters engaged by both promoting themselves and promoting Snapchat.

With On-Demand Geofilters, Snapchat figured out a very clever way to monetize its massive daily traffic. It sells little monthly slices of the geographical areas in a non-exclusive way that gives businesses promotional opportunities and let’s competitors target each other’s businesses.

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