When you first open Snapchat, what do you see?

The camera.

Snapchat thinks of itself as a camera first. In its first-ever TV ad that aired during the Final Four, Snap positioned itself as a relevant and purposeful camera. The commercial portrayed its role in how people share their lives with friends and family, whether it’s singing Happy Birthday or meeting your favorite artist. This rebranding effort was much-needed after stiff competition from Facebook and recent waves of bad press.

Snapchat: “A New Kind of Camera”

There is no doubt that the camera is the core function of the Snapchat app. It’s used to create most Snap messages and Stories, and the filters make the camera amusing. I mean, what could be better than dancing hot dogs and flesh-eating zombies? This is way better than trying to create the perfect selfies with any other camera.

With so much activity happening on Snap’s camera, it’s no surprise that the company would take advertising here. Now, when you open up the app and start playing around with the filters, you’ll find that some of these filters are actually sponsored ads.

Sponsored Filters are Really Ads

The ads you see in your Snap camera are called direct response ads. They are used on other social media channels, including parts of Snapchat. Direct response ads are popular among advertisers because they encourage people to complete specific actions right then and there. In fact, they blend in so well, you’ll probably engage with them on accident.

For now, you can find sponsored ad filters alongside the standard filters. The way to tell the difference is by the call to action button positioned above the record button. Each CTA is unique depending on the action the advertiser wants you to take such as “Install Now”, “Shop Now” or “Play Now.” It’s definitely an obvious way to make money.

The next time you’re playing around on Snapchat, check out the sponsored filters and CTA buttons. What do you think of them? Are they fun and amusing, or just another ad getting in the way of the user experience?