ANGELES — Ann Beverly had eyed a set of golf clubs as
a college graduation gift for her son. In an impulse buy
during commencement, though, she just had to tack on
was browsing on her smartphone — not on Amazon.com or
Facebook, but on Snapchat — when up popped a small
graphic congratulating some other Chico State student on
a Snapchat user since her children introduced her to it
three years ago, knew that the messaging app offered
graphics to decorate photos and videos. But she hadn’t
known that she could upload her own artsy stamps.
Beverly immediately wanted to make a graphic that would
celebrate her son Parker that day and be available for
anyone nearby to affix to their Snapchat messages. It
ended up costing her $27.
was far from the only one this graduation season to
realize the briefly available graphics, which Snapchat
calls geofilters, can be a prize for a generation of
young adults who’ve grown up competing for social
media likes, hashtags and friendships. To them, virtual
novelties are as essential at graduation as posters,
funny caps and purple orchid leis.
the year since Snapchat began welcoming geofilters, paid
submissions have increased to tens of thousands per day.
Graphics tied to weddings and birthdays are most
popular. But graduations, with 15 percent of buys,
claimed the No. 2 spot from birthdays last month,
according to data from Snapchat’s template library.
About half of users design from templates provided by
Snap Inc., with the rest turning to their own skills or
contractors found online.
use geofilters to attract customers. But it’s a form
of advertising offered to ordinary users too, giving
people a chance to call attention to themselves or loved
23 and was thrilled," Beverly said of her son.
"It was heaven for him to have his own filter. We
got so many comments from friends and family who viewed
it saying, oh my gosh, how did you do that?"
plan ahead. Lilibeth Torres started on a Snapchat
graphic to surprise her graduating friend a week out. It
featured a drawing of her friend Arturo, adorned in cap
and sash, with a diploma and cash floating about.
Torres, who is studying graphic design at San Jose
State, spent about four hours crafting the look.
wanted to do something cool, but not over the top,"
must set the time-and-location availability for their
submissions, with greater visibility increasing costs to
about $500 for an entire town for an evening. Torres’
geofilter cost $10 for five hours over three small
areas. The graphic drew more than 1,000 views.
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Peralta ordered a geofilter for herself the night before
graduation when she realized she had devised a great tag
line, "Grad and Boujee," a play on her
nickname Gab and the title of a hip-hop song. In the Cal
State Stanislaus’ grad’s eyes, that geofilter
created a way by which people could remember her.
cool to have the spotlight on you," she said.
"I spent four years at Stan making a name for
myself and it felt fitting to do that at graduation too.
I like to leave my mark on the world."
who received a bachelor’s in communication studies and
works at the campus gym, accrued 86 uses of her
geofilter over five hours last month. More than 7,700
people saw the graphic, according to data Snap provides
commissioned it for $10 from designer SnappyDaysCo
through the crafts app Etsy. It cost an additional $6.65
to make it available at the school’s arena and a
nearby Italian restaurant where she held a party.
who learned of customized geofilters as she sat through
nearly 2,000 student names being announced, searched on
Google for how to make one. It led her to Snapchat’s
website because the app itself doesn’t have a
submission tool. She logged in through her iPhone, chose
a confetti-filled template and, with some assistance
from her daughter, had a "Congratulations,
Parker" sticker available long before the final
student’s name was called. All designs must be
approved by Snap, and Beverly’s got the OK within 15
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said she would have spent up to $100 to honor her son on
Snapchat, but settled on $27 to run the geofilter from 6
p.m. to midnight in the Chico nightlife corridor where
they bar-hopped. They slyly surprised the graduate by
taking a picture and then having him browse the
geofilters. It was used 190 times in all.
only regret: Not buying an extra hour.
the time the family made it to the watering hole
affectionately known as the Bear, the geofilter had
expired and her son was disappointed he couldn’t add
unclear how much revenue Snap derives from users’
geofilter orders because the Los Angeles company doesn’t
breakdown sales by category. But at 10,000 orders a day
at a minimum of $5, Snap would bring in more than $18
million, or about 2 percent of the $992 million in
revenue analysts expect it to generate this year.
has the market cornered for now. Instagram, its main
competition, declined to say when it might launch a
similar feature for users to submit filters.
Snap is expanding its template library to promote
geofilter creation for beach parties, Fourth of July
gatherings and bachelorette and bachleor escapes.
also signing partnerships to get the word out about its
feature. Event-planning services including WeddingWire
and Event Farm recently began offering geofilters as
part of their packages, providing templates designed by
brands such as Domino’s pizza and Lily Pulitzer.
say geofilters aren’t a fad. Torres, for example,
already looks forward to someone making one for her
graduation next year.
Lorenz and Payal Patel, a pair of Los Angeles-area tech
industry workers who married this month, said they spent
about $250 on two geofilters for their tropical-themed
wedding. They also had geofilters for smaller events
before the wedding, including an engagement last year,
and they have no plans to stop.
probably do them for every party," Lorenz said.
there may be a point where it becomes all too much, some
worry. The filter options are already becoming
overwhelming at popular destinations.
certain is they don’t replace traditional gifts.
Beverly says she’s still working on getting her son
those new golf clubs.