OMG Did You See the New Snapchat Filter?


Like many people I know, one of the first things I do upon waking up is reach for my phone to see what’s going I. Of course, it is essential to catch up on all of the latest Instagram posts I missed, as well as the group message conversations that occurred while I was sleeping. Maybe I’ll even open up my Wall Street Journal app to see what’s new in the world, and then check the weather to decide whether I need my snow boots or not (at the rate we’re going here in Boston, I’ll always need my snow boots).

But one of the recent must-dos that I have found myself constantly checking out are the ever-changing Snapchat filters. Now with a tap on your screen, you can easily transform your face into a puppy, sailor, or queen, just to name a few (the hedgehog is my personal favorite). You can even mutate your smile to take up half of your face, or distort your nose to be the size of a fruit fly (who comes up with these filters¿). Nevertheless, these Snapchat filters have really gained love from the users, being utilized thousands of times a day. Sometimes I’ll even find myself sitting on my bed for hours, simply entertaining myself with all the different filters without even sending the Snapchats out to my friends (I live a sad life). It’s almost as if I’m missing out if received a Snapchat from one of my friends with a face-effect that I haven’t seen before, annoyed that I didn’t discover it earlier. It is clearly obvious that Snapchat filters have become a huge part of social media usage.


Many people have jumped on the Snapchat filter bandwagon, also seeing the potential it has to generate awareness to promote companies, products, and events. These “geofilters” are ways to display what you are doing on Snapchat based on your geographical location. In order for this to work, you need to have your Location Services turned on, along with the Filters setting (some people are reluctant to do this out of privacy issues, but that is a discussion for another time). The geofilter itself is a pre-made graphic that appears on the picture you take, classified into two categories: Community Geofilters and On-Demand Geofilters.

Community Geofilters:

This is a space that attracts the market of designers and artists. People of the community can create a graphic to be used for certain cities, universities, attractions, or other public landmarks. This is a free process to be submitted, and allows any person who enters into these areas to add the created geofilter to the picture they take on Snapchat. I have used this plenty of times before, sharing with my friends the cool sites and places that I see. Since anyone can submit a Community geofilter (with the exception of using brand logos), there are always new graphics and designs being published for Snapchat users to utilize, making it fun to see what new geofilters will pop up next. Here are a couple of my favorites:

On-Demand Geofilters:

Here are another group of geofilters tailored towards businesses and people trying to gain attention for a certain cause or event. These are paid filters that are can be used to promote certain products or promotions that are currently happening for a business. This aspect has seen a huge increase in usage towards companies since Snapchat has been so popular amongst the various social media platforms. It is a simple and easy way to spread maccas17_c1a8e580-5f51-11e6-936a16d2e7002836the word and gain attraction for a brand. McDonald’s is one company that has a large inclination towards these geofilters in which they developed various graphics throughout different periods of time. Hollister, Starbucks,
Target, and Express are amongst
the large number of companies that have used these filters to screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-5-29-21-pmpromote their brand. At one point, Hollister created a geofilter that promoted Anti-Bullying, and Express developed one that highlighted its Black Friday sales. As you can see, there are many variations and motives that companies can have for creating these sponsored geofilters. screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-5-31-02-pm




There are even geofilters created to advertise for new movies coming out, as well as live updates for big sports events occuring. There are really no limits to what a geofilter can be, which is a strong appealing factor to the normal everyday person. These designs don’t only have to represent a company, product, or professional event, but can be created for personal reasons too. Weddings, surprise birthday parties, and baby showers are popular events for these geofilters to be generated for, allowing the parties to be shared amongst multiple social media platforms. Lately, people will even create hashtags for these events to make this sharing process easier, many of the times being included in the geofilter created. As we can tell, Snapchat filters and geofilters have become extremely popular for many social media users throughout the world.




  1. alexisteixeiraa · ·

    I think the idea of Geofilters is a fascinating way of creative revenue that no one could have imagined years ago. I for one have paid for a Geofilter for an event on campus and was shocked at how fascinated people were by the ability to have a few words at the bottom of their screen to add to their story. I think it gives a sense of authenticity and realness that allows you to tell others where you are — it like a cooler way to do a Facebook “check-in”. I think the development of Geofilters and sponsored Geofilters will continue to rise as it is an amazing way to advertise and let people know about events/upcoming specials (VS fashion show, upcoming films, etc.) even if they don’t use the filter. Really great post!

  2. Great post! I’m not a big Snapchat user, but my wife is absolutely addicted. She paid to have 3 geofilters created for our wedding and another created for her bachelorette party. I think personal geofilters are a great way to create a further sense of community among friends, make a special event truly special, and encourage users to engage on Snapchat. I love how businesses have used Snapchat to build their brand personality and engage with their customer base.

  3. Really interesting post that captures how ubiquitous and important Snapchat filters have become. I think what adds to their and Snapchat’s popularity is the fact that other platforms lack these options. Like Alexis said, geofilters are the new and cool Facebook “check-in”. People use Snapchat primarily to share what they are doing, and if they are doing it at a cool place, then why not share that too. The fact that the filters keep changing and updating is an added bonus that keeps everyone coming back for more. I am addicted too!

  4. laurenmsantilli · ·

    Interesting read! Something I’m curious about is how successful (or unsuccessful) Snapchat was when they made people buy Snapchat filters that were not readily available. I believe that was only in a action for a few months before every filter became free again, which is around the same time companies like Hollister and Express as you mentioned began using Snapchat filters as a means of marketing and promotion. It’s intriguing that Snapchat charges only about $15-$20 for someone to have a Snapchat filter for 24 hours for significant events like a Wedding. Definitely a cheaper way for people to brand their significant events and create more camaraderie for those in attendance!

  5. Great post! I too find myself waking up in the morning checking my phone and on Snapchat looking at the new filters, especially intrigued with the new voice changers and sound effects. I wrote a blog post this week on augmented reality apps, but I think Snapchat is now the most prominent way companies are utilizing augmented reality to promote their brands. I’m also intrigued, like Lauren, how Snapchat charges only $15-$20 for a custom filter, and I wonder if there is a limit to how many Geofilters can be added for a certain event or area at one time. Also, it was interesting to learn that community Geofilters are free because I know Boston College has some around campus, including some of the dorms, so I’ve always wondered if someone was paying for them. Overall great read and thanks for sharing!

  6. DanKaplan · ·

    Great post Danielle. There was so much information about Snapchat filters in here that I never knew. Also, I think Snapchat is charging the optimal price for a 24 hour geofilter. For a special event such as a birthday or a wedding, I would have absolutely no issue paying $20 to have a filter for the day. I wonder if Snapchat allows the bride and groom to get a copy of all the snapchats taken using the filter. If not, this would be a great amenity for Snapchat to offer going forward.

  7. Really enjoyed reading this. I make and use geofilters often for CAB events on campus and sometimes in the city, and it’s gotten great feedback so far. It’s interactive, affordable, memorable, and most importantly so instantly useable compared to ads on other platforms. One thing I noticed that people enjoy is when you make the filters with room for individual creativity– that is, when there is a fill-in-the-blank aspect or you can customize the already-customized filters by writing on them, users responded with more activity and increased retention rate. I don’t know how far we can take the personalization on Snapchat beyond the level of geofilters, but I’ve observed this is almost a necessary feature for any social media that feeds on UGC (i.e. Instagram live + stickers / caption colors).

  8. At this point, it’s hard to imagine using SnapChat without the ability to flip the camera and turn yourself into a dog or have a rainbow pour out of your mouth whenever you want to. While it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, it definitely increases usage on the app, especially due to the fact that they’re always changing and you never know which ones will be offered. It’s interesting that while several other platforms are trying to replicate SnapChat’s core service, such Instagram Stories, the selfie filters and geo-filters are an aspect that is still unique to SnapChat. However I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they start popping up elsewhere as well.

  9. mollyshields44 · ·

    Snapchat has definitely had a big impact on how we communicate. These ten seconds or less can say as much as a text with the difference of having a larger reach. I think its interesting that now with snapchat filters, particularly geofilters, all of your snapchat friends can know where you are and what you are doing. How many times have you told someone you visited a particular city and he or she said, “Oh yea I saw you were there.” It is funny that we don’t think anything of those conversations, in fact we buy into it because we put the geofilter on ourselves. I’m curious to the next advancements for snapchat filters and what else we publicize on our stories!

  10. You know, I keep waiting for snapchat geofilters to end up to be a fad, but they have had remarkable staying power. I really liked the wedding example, as I never saw that use case, but think its a great one. I suspect they will move into sports (if they haven’t already) to prove you were “there”.

  11. mikeward7 · ·

    Great post, Danielle. Like Professor Kane, I, too, thought that these filters were just going to be a short lived fad, but snapchat has done a great job always coming up with new ones to keep people interested in this feature. Users definitely love the fact that they can create their own for a certain events, while also being able to mindlessly pass the time by looking at funny filters when theyre bored. Its been a great feature for snapchat and one that has definitely increased their value.

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