Snapchat launched its new on-demand geofilters on Monday. The tool lets you pay for a Snapchat geofilter for a limited amount of time and for a limited area of space.

I purchased one for a New Digital Tools Workshop that I’m teaching March 5 at Drake University. My goal: to spend as little money as possible and learn how these work.

When you login (which wasn’t easy – I had to switch computers, and even then I kept getting logged out), you get to download their templates as a starting point. There are 12 different templates for various occasions available as either Photoshop or Illustrator files.


You can use a template or just stick to your own.

I decided to use one of their templates to keep things simple. I changed the fonts, so I needed a little bit of Photoshop knowledge, but not a lot.

I did run into a problem when saving. They say to save the files as PNG-24 and make sure they are under 300KB. I had to save as PNG-8 to get the file that small.

Once I finished the design, I simply had to upload, select a time period and then draw a box around the area that I wanted to include.

I gave them my credit card info and hit submit. 90 minutes later, my geofilter was approved. Here’s the email they sent me:

snapchat geofilter approved

Since it hasn’t run yet, I can still go in and cancel.

What else I learned about Snapchat on-demand geofilters

  • You can choose your time in one hour increments, so your minimum time is 1 hour.
  • I’m not sure the limit on how long they can run. I’ve seen others say 30 days, but the calendar I saw only went to March 30. So maybe the limit is until the end of the next month.
  • Your area must be at least 20,000 square feet, which is smaller than the building I work at on campus.
  • The maximum area is 5 million square feet, which doesn’t cover all of Drake’s campus. So you can’t buy something that covers the entire campus.
  • Mine hasn’t run yet, but I’m told I’ll see analytics – including how many people saw the filter and how many actually used it. I’ll update after that.

Here are some screenshots that show pricing…

To do one hour in the academic building where I work would be the minimum price – $5.


To step that up to a full school week (5 days), is less than $30.


Drake’s campus is too big to do it all, but a full day of a good chunk of campus would cost nearly $6,000.



The process was simple, although some design skills are necessary. I see this as a good revenue stream for Snapchat, unless everyone only pays $5 like I did.

If you’re interested in creating one of these for an event, let me know. I’d be happy to help.


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