“X-Men Apocalypse” has taken over Snapchat. For the next 24 hours, Snapchat users can don the faces of nine characters of the 20th Century Fox movie, which opens this Friday. The “X-Men”-themed “lenses” (creative filters that change the look of Snapchat users’ selfies), run until May 24. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
But even more interesting, Snapchat has become a one-stop shop for movie ticket sales. Hidden as advertisements within Snapchat’s Discover channel — a network of media partners — is an option to purchase movie tickets. By swiping up on a video ad for “X-Men: Apocalypse” that reads "Shop Now" at the bottom, users will be directed to a web page within the app to purchase tickets.
Ticket sales began on May 13 and run through May 26, the day before the movie’s opening. The ad is available only to Snapchat users in the U.S.
The brand takeover of the app is large, yet not too surprising given 20th Century Fox’s previous activations with the popular mobile storytelling app. Fox was the first the advertiser to purchase lenses as an ad unit for the “Peanuts” movie. Sponsored lenses were priced between $100,000 and $750,000, according to Re/code.
Snapchat has experimented with ways to make money from lenses. Beyond having the features sponsored by movies, Snapchat had opened a lens store where users could purchase daily lenses for $0.99. The store was closed in January.
Just going to play with Snapchat's X-Men lenses all day pic.twitter.com/5COSwf0jir
— Kerry Flynn (@kerrymflynn) May 23, 2016
From Monday to Tuesday, Snapchat users can send a photo or video of themselves as Apocalypse, Cyclops, Mystique, Storm, Nightcrawler, Magneto, Quicksilver, Professor X and Beast.
The ticket purchasing via Snapchat is a first of its kind, but similar ad units that involve swiping up have been around for a while. For instance, Snapchat ran an app-install ad for the dating app Happn on NowThis’s Discover channel Sunday.
A five-year-old company, Snapchat has more than 100 million daily active users who contribute to the app's more than 10 billion daily video views. An estimated 60 percent of 13- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. use the app. The Venice, California, company is valued at $16 billion.