Snap likes to say that it’s a camera company — the camera is the first thing people see when they open the app, and it’s the feature used to create almost all Snap messages and Stories.
Now Snap wants to turn that camera into a revenue driver, too.
The company is rolling out a new type of ad inside the camera: Direct response ads, or ads that drive people to complete a specific action, like an app download or a product purchase. They’re the kind of ads that are huge on Facebook, and Snap already offers a version of these ads in other parts of the app, like alongside publisher content inside its Discover section.
But now it’s putting them right smack dab in the camera. When users pull up a sponsored lens — the face masks that transform people’s selfies into things like a zombie or a taco — advertisers can add a “call to action” button right above the app’s record button. The ads will include prompts like “Shop Now” or “Install Now,” depending on the advertiser’s goal.
Snapchat has been selling face filter ads for years, but they’ve always been geared toward big-brand advertisers. Adding these new direct response calls should make the ads more appealing to advertisers that want more specific outcomes.
It’s also Snapchat’s most obvious effort yet to make money off users’ cameras. Most of the sponsored lens ads look and feel native — sometimes you can’t even tell you are using an ad for your selfie. These new buttons look like an ad right off the bat.
Snap is still in the early stages of its business. The company reported its best quarter as a public company in Q4 and is trying to create more competition from advertisers for its ad products. These kinds of ads could help.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.