Geofilters are fun, visual and turn events into Snapchat-fueled affairs. There are rules, however, that you will need to follow in order for Snapchat to accept your geofilters and make them live. You can be creative with your design — this is Snapchat, not the IRS — but you must follow a few basic guidelines if you want to meet Snapchat’s standards. Failure to do so will lead to a rejection and no cool geofilter for you. Ouch.
The process is pretty simple from start to finish. FIrst you come up with a cool design that fits within Snapchat’s guidelines. Next you build a map around the area you want your geofilter to be active. Finally, when you’re all set in terms of your design and map, you pay. It’s that easy.
Before you submit anything to Snapchat keep the following in mind to ensure that your geofilters are acceptable and that you’re not wasting time re-submitting new designs over and over. Following these guidelines strictly from the get-go will be well worth the time and effort, especially when you’ve got a fancy new geofilter to show off.
Types of Snapchat geofilters
There are two types of geofilters that Snapchat allows users to submit: Business Geofilters and Personal Geofilters. A personal geofilter can’t include any logo, business mark, etc.; in other words, you can’t promote a specific brand with a Personal Geofilter. These are more suitable for private events, such as a birthday party or a graduation. However, you can use specific logos and promote brands with a Business Geofilter. For instance, you could use a branded Business Geofilter to promote a beverage brand at a music festival.
Map it out
You will need to Snapchat’s onscreen map to draw a border around the area where you want your geofilter to be active. For example, if you wanted your geofilter to be available at a club, you would locate the club on the map and then draw around the club’s boundary, perhaps including the area directly outside for people waiting in line, getting some fresh air, etc. You create your map by dropping points around the perimeter of your location, using a sort of “connect-the-dots” interface. To finish your map, you will need to connect the first dot to the last.
The price of your geofilter will depend on the square footage you’re covering and the amount of time you want the filter to be active. The wider the area of coverage and the more time you want it to be active, the more you’re going to pay. Fortunately, Snapchat’s drawing tool will provide you with a real-time prices based on these parameters, so you can adjust accordingly to fit within your budget. Changing as few as two points on your map can, for example, make for a big drop or increase in your total cost.
While you can be fun with your design, you still need to play by Snapchat’s rules if you want them to actually accept your geofilter. Follow these guidelines to a T. These are put into place to ensure that your geofilter is not only visually appealing but isn’t offensive or illegal.
- Don’t use trademarks or logos that you don’t have the right to use.
- Don’t include photos of people; keep it graphical.
- Don’t include any contact information, such as phone numbers, email addresses or URLs.
- Don’t include an drug-related content.
- Leave enough space or the user’s photo to actually dominate most of the screen.
- Make sure your geofilter is actually relevant to the location you’re assigning it to. For example, don’t submit a geofilter using religious iconography for a bowling alley birthday party.
- Most importantly, make sure your geofilter is actually visually compelling and interesting. Snapchat users will only use your geofilter if it’s fun and adds something to the occasion. A quality, professional design will be more likely to be accepted than a crude, amateur one.
Along with fitting content guidelines and actually being relevant and interesting, your geofilter needs to fit within the technical parameters that Snapchat has laid out. Be sure to stick to the following when submitting your filter.
- Make sure your file is 1,080 pixels wide by 1,920 pixels high. Submit it in another other size and Snapchat will reject it. Using the purchase tool preview page you’ll be able to see how your geofilter will appear on different devices.
- Keep your file size under 300 kilobytes in size and save it as a .PNG file with a transparent background.
Snapchat rejects geofilters that don’t abide by their guidelines. If your geofilter is rejected, Snapchat will send you an email including an explanation for why they might have rejected it. For example, perhaps you used a font that is too similar to an actual logo for a Personal Geofilter, and that caused your geofilter to be rejected. If, for some reason, your Snapchat geofilter is rejected, simply adjust it to correct any errors in your prior submission and try submitting again.
In addition to all of the aforementioned guidelines, businesses must pay extra attention when submitting a geofilter. Before you submit anything with a business name/trademark/logo, be absolutely sure you have the legal right to do so. You don’t want that to come back to bite you.
If submitting a Business Geofilter, you must also include the name of your business on the purchase page. Snapchat might display your name to let users know that your business created and provided that specific geofilter.
Before you submit
Be sure you have dotted all your I’s and crossed all of your T’s before submitting your geofilter to Snapchat. Once you hit the submit button, what you sent is what you sent; you can’t make any changes. If your geofilter is rejected for whatever reason, you will need to cancel the order you made and create a whole new order.
As you can see, submitting a geofilter to Snapchat isn’t a one-click-and-you’re-done sort of process. Developing a quality geofilter and making sure it actually abides by the many creative, legal and technical guidelines set up by Snapchat takes a focused approach. Have fun, go wild — but do so with your goals in mind and with a strict adherence to Snapchat’s rules. Do that and you’ll have a great-looking geofilter that people will use a lot and that will do wonders for your brand.