Several Snapchat users have noticed that the popular ephemeral messaging service is testing new location aware filters. The test seems limited to the iOS application for now. Users who send a snap from a certain location get these smart filters which don’t offer any photo-editing effects, they’re clear filters with a graphic overlay. For all we know it could be one of the ways Snapchat might generate revenue.
Some users have posted pictures on Twitter of these new filters. For example a snap sent in Brooklyn will contain the word “Brooklyn” written on the snap itself in artistic font. Those who send a snap in New York’s financial district will get a filter which drops a shower of dollar bills.
Location aware filters will also make it easier for users to share their location with friends or family without having to check in. A snap that contains information about the location is probably the next best thing to actually checking in at a particular location.
Snapchat has already worked with brands to add their logos to images sent during a specific event, a recent example is that of a branded filter attached to snaps sent at the Cannes Lions advertising festival. These new filters could be used to promote a particular brand or company, a fast food joint for example, when the user snaps a picture of their burger.
The service experiences rapid growth around the world and it needs to generate revenue in order to be a sustainable business, perhaps this is just the start of those efforts.