Snapchat to Pitch Animated-Selfie Ads to Hollywood Studios

Snapchat is looking to sell its new “Lenses” animated-selfie feature — which adds whimsical effects to a user’s pic, like barfing rainbows or transmogrification into a monster — as an advertising unit, with Hollywood studios a key initial target.

The social service, built around messages that self-destruct after 10 seconds, last month launched Lenses, available for newer-model Android and iOS devices. Snapchat offers users one free replay of any “snap,” and it’s also started selling a replays of snaps priced at 99 cents for three.

Now, the L.A.-based startup is looking to roll out sponsored Lenses, to debut Oct. 31, priced at $750,000 daily for a peak-usage day (like Halloween or Thanksgiving) and $450,000 for other days, the Financial Times reported, citing anonymous sources.

Movies studios and other entertainment companies are logical candidates for the animated selfies, to promote film or TV premieres on a specific date with the eye-catching feature. Snapchat is estimated to have more than 100 million users, with more than 50 million aged 13-24.

Snapchat confirmed the plan to sell Lenses-based ads, but declined to furnish additional details.

This year, the company has launched a concerted effort to build itself into a media platform, inking deals with partners including ESPN, CNN, Comedy Central, Food Network, Vice, BuzzFeed and Mashable, Major League Baseball and the National Football Leauge. It also claims to serve more than 4 billion daily video views of “Live Stories” from users and content providers.

Snapchat acquired Looksery, a facial-recognition startup, to power the new animated-selfie tool, TechCrunch reported.

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