Snap Inc. wants to be more of a resource for influencers and celebrities and has lured a brand executive from Apple to lead the effort.
Lauren Gallo will be joining Snap this week as its first head of talent partnerships, WWD has learned, where she will oversee Snapchat’s relationships with its “official” stories accounts, generally outlets for celebrities and influencers. She will report to Ben Schirwin, vice president of partnerships, who has led Snapchat partnerships with media and entertainment organizations.
Gallo previously worked for about three years as Apple’s senior brand and marketing strategy lead and before that in a similar role focused on digital at Nike Inc. Earlier in her career, she worked in merchandising at Bloomingdale’s and press relations at Missoni.
A Snap spokeswoman confirmed the hire and said the company is “thrilled,” but declined to comment further. Gallo was not made available for comment.
The company has been working in recent months to spruce up its marquee app, partially an effort to appeal more to its base “creator community,” which produces the majority of the app’s content. The efforts have been paying off, according to founder and chief executive officer Evan Spiegel’s fourth-quarter update for investors last month. The app gained nearly nine million users during the quarter, the most in more than two years.
As for the update rolled out late last year, which separates content between a user’s social community and brands, Spiegel said it is still “very early,” but the company is “optimistic about the potential to unlock additional growth with the redesign.”
But it’s been touch-and-go lately. Some users have been vocal online about their dislike of the update, leading to a stock downgrade, quickly followed by a seemingly offhand Twitter post by Kylie Jenner about her lapsed use, which took a toll on Snap’s shares.
With the redesign, however, official account holders are given analytics detailing how their posts perform, allowing them to adjust posts and content based on popularity and engagement, a big plus for paid influencers. Snap was a little behind other social platforms like Instagram and Facebook in making these types of stats available, and Spiegel admitted in the fall that the company had “historically neglected the creator community on Snapchat.”
Spiegel added that this year, Snap is focused on offering more “distribution and monetization opportunities for these creators in an effort to empower our creative community to express themselves to a larger audience and build a business with their creativity.”
“Developing this ecosystem will allow artists to transition more easily from communicating with friends to creating Stories for a broader audience, monetizing their Stories, and potentially using our professional tools to create premium content,” he said.
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