August 1, 2016

How To Make A Snapchat GeoFilter

I was really excited when our friends asked us to make a Snapchat for their son's birthday party last month. Little G as we call him is one of the coolest kids I have the pleasure of knowing. He's a little dude with big dreams...including a zombie birthday party.

So instead of being cookie cutter, his parents took this 3rd birthday party to the next level. I hadn't made a Snapchat filter before, but once I started reading the information I was finding online I was pretty nervous it wouldn't get approved.
I'll run down the basics, what I learned and how I think your Snapchat filters can get approved (since I don't work there and all, this is only an informative opinion).

The basics:
It must be a .PNG file
Size matters...make it: 1080 wide x 1920 tall
No contact info, hashtags or social media handles
Don't cover up too much of the screen
For the whole list of details, rules and submission guidelines check out the Snapchat page

Know the area where you want the filter-
You have to select an area on a map where you want the filter to be accessed from. Be specific and make sure you choose an area large enough.

It's not free-
The price of the filter depends on the amount of time you want the filter to run and the size of the area where you are using it.  We had the filter active for 10 hours and it was only $10.78 which I think is well worth it for the entertainment value.

I don't know if it varies depending on what type of filter you submit but the whole process didn't take too long for me. I submitted the initial design, it was declined two days later. Two days after that the changes were made and resubmitted and two more days after that I got an e-mail saying everything was approved. So, give yourself a few weeks just to be safe. It's always better to be ahead of the game.

What I learned:
It's not as hard as most places I visited online made it out to be. I got denied the first time, and was super bummed out. The great thing is that Snapchat was very clear and told me the exact reason why. I then fixed that error and within a few days it was approved.

Make sure it's on a transparent background. This is why my original submission was rejected. I designed the filter in PicMonkey which had a white background. Snapchat was very clear when they sent the rejection e-mail and stated that the transparency was what needed changed. 

I was wondering if we would get charged per submission. Great don't! You don't get charged until the filter goes live.

You get plenty of e-mails keeping you up to date with the progress. I received an e-mail when it was approved, the day it was scheduled to go live, once it went live, and after it's run was completed at the end of the day. Very informative and organized on Snapchat's part which I liked.

You can view the details of how much it was used and how many people saw it after it's done being live. Zombie G Turns 3 was used 59 times and viewed 3,000 times. 

Tips on how to get your filter approved:
Start with a theme or purpose.
- Are you making this filter for a certain event? What is the theme or color scheme? Is there an inspiration or Pinterest board you can gather ideas from? It's always best to know what direction you're going before you start when designing within limitations, which is the case with Snapchat.

Read the rules.
- While we're on limitations, let's talk about them. Snapchat doesn't want more than 2 lines of text so keep it short. No photographs allowed so come up with an original design. They want it to be visually compelling...which means, make it pretty friends. Get interesting!

Get creative.
-Make a bold statement. Whether it's with fun text, or colorful designs...make the filter worth your time and money. Have fun with the event. We made a zombie child, some text, and had to add in little G's cat Barnacles in zombie form too.

So how did it all turn out? Let's take a look....

My personal favorite is #2. The brains, the cat, I love it so much. Does that make me weird?! Oh well. G was the cutest little zombie at his party and his 3rd birthday bash was so much fun. Here's some more pictures from Zombie G Turns 3.

Now that I have some experience with making a Snapchat GeoFilter I can't wait to make another. We had so much fun creating and using these ones for Zombie G Turns 3 and I'm happy it wasn't as hard as I anticipated.

Have you made a Snapchat GeoFilter?

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