25/03/2016 Matt Horne

What is a Snapchat Geofilter?

If you’re not sure what exactly a Snapchat Geofilter is, here’s a quick crash course.

The basics

At the most simple, Snapchat geofilters are little graphics that people can put on their snaps if they’re in the associated location (marked by GPS).

At their very basic state, Snapchat Geofilters are transparent PNG files, that are 1080 x 1920px and no more than 300kb

And since the start of 2016 they’ve came in two flavours

Community Geofilters

These were the original type of Geofilters offered by Snapchat. They’re free to submit and are meant for “Artists and designers… to create
and submit… for their city, university, a local landmark, or another public location.”

They came with a big list of “guidelines” which state:

  • All graphics used must be 100% original.
  • No logos or trademarks. The only exception is that we will accept college and university logos submitted by authorized officials from those schools.
  • No photographs.
  • No hashtags.
  • Be creative and make it visually compelling.
  • Don’t cover up too much of the screen.
  • Make sure it’s relevant to the location and something that people will want to use

Each submission also needs a reason why you’re submitting the Geofilter and the actual location it’s to be displayed.

Once accepted, these Geofilters are live in the specified location for the rest of time, which is nice. Unless you realise you’ve made some kind of spelling mistake. There’s no clear way to remove your submissions or get any kind of analytics on their use.

The thing with Community Geofilters is they’re notoriously difficult to get accepted. Most submissions would be rejected, with no clear reason provided, just a reminder they have to meet the above guidelines. Very frustrating for brands, which is probably why Snapchat introduced…

On-demand Geofilters

In the words of Snapchat they’re “For People and Businesses. Whether it’s for a house party or wedding, a coffee shop or campus-wide event”.

On the surface, these are exactly the same as Community Geofilters, apart from they can include logos and trademarks.

There are two main differences though:

  • they’re time sensitive – perfect for events
  • you have to pay for them – perfect for monitising this social network

And when it comes to paying for them, the costs can vary significantly, as you can see in my guide to how much Snapchat Geofilters cost.

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Matt Horne

Freelance digital marketing and social media consultant dedicated to making your internet awesome.