Snapchat burst onto the social media scene five years ago, becoming instantly popular with Gen Z and Millennials, and achieving global platform status with over 500 million downloads and availability in 20 languages. Innovation built around image messaging has been key to its popularity.

Like any successful social media platform, Snapchat is a coveted channel for brands seeking to connect with a younger audience. Reaching those consumers through Snapchat is about to get easier.

Snapchat is on the verge of releasing several new updates that affect how a company places and targets ads via the social media app. The big news is that ads can now be placed in the app using a self-serve ad manager. The only self-serve branding previously available was geo-filters.

Why is that important? Until now, the only way to place ads was having Snapchat or an authorized third-party vendor do it. There was also a large minimum spend. Combined, those factors made placing ads on Snapchat out of reach for most advertisers.

Self-service eliminates the need for third-party placement of the ads and there is no minimum on the amount spent towards the ads, making Snapchat a viable option for more companies.

Snapchat is also enhancing targeting options, allowing brands to further narrow down who their ad reaches through location, age, gender, and more. Companies no longer have to worry about a costly fee that needlessly reaches an audience beyond their demographic.

By opening up targeting options through the self-serve manager, Snapchat is giving companies the ability to create more efficient and cost-effective ads. Say you’ve narrowed down your demographic to females ages 13-16 who are looking on the Discovery page for articles about shoes. Enter those parameters into the self-serve manager and it will place your shoe ad within their Snapchat stories.

Snapchat has quickly caught on with its targeted audience, and now it’s about to become even more popular among brands looking to connect with those users.

Contributions by Madeline Jaquith