The API allows third parties to programmatically buy ads in the Snapchat app and manage their advertising campaigns. It also offers additional functionality, such as the ability to target audiences using first-party data and A/B test multiple pieces of campaign creative to determine which is most effective.
Snap originally launched the Marketing API in 2016 and gave access to a small number of select partners such as agencies and ad tech firms. Even with access limited to select partners, Snap recently revealed that 90% of its ads are now bought and sold programmatically.
By opening its API up to the world, Snap’s ad business may be better positioned to compete with Facebook, which has for years offered its own advertising APIs that allow its customers to execute and manage virtually all of their advertising functions programmatically.