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How GenZ Audiences and AR Experiences Powered Snap’s 2020 Growth Spurt

Apps that foster human connection skyrocketed in 2020 — and Snapchat was no exception! But like the rest of the world, the Snap team had to relearn how to work — and in their case, they had to do it while in a boom period. Götz Trillhaas, Managing Director of Snap in Germany, shared recently with MMA Germany the development and data that marked a year of unexpected acceleration.

Snapchat, the photosharing app that allows users to implement filters and other augmented reality (AR) elements to alter their images — and that deletes images by default after a set amount of time — is setting new records and engaging new audiences.

Part of the driver is the pandemic. Confined to quarters, consumers everywhere seek connection and communication in their social and messaging apps. The Snapchat app grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic as it allowed people to create “social closeness while physically distancing,” Götz Trillhaas says.

In fact, the app saw a record number of Snaps sent in March 2020.

Gen Z on the scene

Since a whopping 80% of Snapchatters are over 18-year-old, Götz Trillhaas points out the platform is a perfect match for brands and advertisers eager to reach and engage a Gen Z audience.

But there’s a catch. Advertisers must also recognize that GenZ is a socially conscious audience defined by values, not age groups. Snapchat data and insights reveal half of Snapchatters feel they have a personal responsibility to change the world. They are far more interested in what their friends have to say than what influencers are peddling.

GenZ is also concerned about authentic communication and safeguarding their personal privacy, which is another reason why they congregate on the platform. “We are a close friends communication platform and you are likely to be friends in real life with the people you are connected to on Snapchat. So brands are on our platform.

The power of augmented reality

Snapchatters have fully embraced the AR tools that allow them to enhance their images and communications. Over 200 million* people are using augmented reality every single day and two trends are emerging.

“And we see that the numbers during the pandemic times grew by 15, 16, even up to 20% globally,” Götz Trillhaas says. A prime example is the beauty industry. Before the pandemic youth would have gone into a physical store and tried on lipstick. The pandemic changed this behavior completely, forcing these brands to rethink the path-to-purchase. “Beauty brands shifted, letting customers try on new shades virtually and at home,” Götz Trillhaas explains. “Seeing how well this has worked for retailers during the pandemic is driving Snap to focus more attention on these kinds of e-commerce experiences.”

Once lockdowns eased and people remerged into mostly outdoor public spaces,opportunities to engage audiences emerged. To this end, the Snap team got creative and connected its platform assets with Out-Of-Home (OOH) advertising to create a more immersive and engaging campaign for people on the move.

The growth of OOH combined with the popularity of Snapchat, opens up new opportunities for advertisers looking to target GenZ with exciting experiences and authentic messaging — even when they aren’t in the app. Stay tuned to find out what else this team has in store for 2021.



The Mobile Marketing Association’s German Local Council strives to accelerate the transformation and innovation of mobile marketing and advertising, and the technologies that enable their advancement in Germany and globally.

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MMA Germany

Mobile Marketing Association's German Local Council strives to stimulate the growth of mobile marketing and its associated technologies in the country.