Snapchat launched its new "lenses" feature just two weeks ago, and since then users have watched their friends puke rainbows and turn into wide-eyed emoji on a daily basis. Now we know there was a whole other reason behind the lenses feature: brands. For a not-so-small fee — up to $750,000 in certain situations, according to the Financial Times — Snapchat will design sponsored lenses for brands that will last just one day.
The lenses feature is active for any user that is taking a selfie. Tapping and holding on the reflected image of your face quickly maps an outline of it, and then you're prompted to pick from eight different interactive filters which range from simple, Photo Booth-style effects to ones with animations and sound. One new one replaces an old one every day, and they can be used on photos or videos.
Welcome to the age of the sponsored human
The new sponsored lenses will debut on or around Halloween, and the price will be steep, according to the Financial Times report. Snapchat is apparently charging around $450,000 per sponsored lens on normal days, and up to $750,000 on "peak days" like holidays. But that money could theoretically go a long way, considering that Snapchat has hundreds of millions of monthly active users. There's no detail on how different or similar they will be to the existing lenses, but Snapchat will be creating them in-house and the report says that the first buyers will likely be Hollywood studios.
This is, at least, the fourth revenue stream for Snapchat, next to Discover, the ads placed in daily stories, and paid replays. But this one is unique from the others — instead of just passively observing, sponsored lenses are all about engaging with brands. The brands will (almost) literally be up in your face. Or, as Snapchat put it to the Financial Times, "sponsored lenses allow Snapchatters to express themselves and connect with a brand in a really creative and dynamic way."