Snap said Wednesday it would launch a marketplace to connect creators with brands. Photo: Bloomberg
Creator Economy

How Snap and Facebook Creator Marketplaces Could Stumble

Photo: Snap said Wednesday it would launch a marketplace to connect creators with brands. Photo: Bloomberg

Snap and Facebook are joining TikTok in establishing marketplaces to connect creators with brands, elbowing into territory dominated by influencer marketing agencies. 

Snap on Wednesday revealed it was launching its own creator marketplace to connect advertisers with creators for sponsorship deals. These match-making services, which might pair a brand like Dunkin’ with an influencer such as Carter Kench, are emerging as a new frontier for social media giants that want online talent. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased a similar initiative last week.

When it comes to pricing, Snap and Facebook present a serious threat to the network of influencer-focused marketing agencies that have flourished over the last decade. Snap promises it won’t take a cut of any sponsorships its creators secure, similar to TikTok, which launched its own creator marketplace in 2019. Influencer marketing agencies, in contrast, generally charge a fee. But it’s no sure thing the big tech platforms will be able to win creators where it matters most: finding big sponsors that dovetail with creators’ carefully cultivated personas. 

Sarah Dickinson, who runs a TikTok account dedicated to cooking with ingredients from Trader Joe’s, recently told me she received brand inquiries via TikTok’s creator marketplace, which is still in beta. But the pitches, one for clothing and another for a blackhead-removing serum, were too off-topic. “It’s totally irrelevant to what I post about. It would seem very strange coming from my profile,” Dickinson said. “So I didn’t respond to them.” 

While that’s just one example, it illustrates how the marketplaces can founder. The other big question is how involved Facebook and Snap staff will be in hammering out these deals. Many agencies, such as The Influencer Marketing Factory in New York City, handle everything from negotiating prices to coming up with creative ideas and providing an in-depth analysis of sales, clicks and downloads. “Those big budget campaigns aren't getting brokered through [direct messages],” said Lia Haberman, an adjunct professor of influencer marketing at University of California, Los Angeles. 

In their favor, these new marketplaces won’t require upfront payouts like the multi-million-dollar funds Snap and TikTok have established to pay creators making videos for their apps. And both companies can leverage their existing relationships with Fortune 500 companies. 

Snap, for its part, is starting with what it knows best. The marketplace will focus on connecting advertisers with augmented reality creators who make snazzy filters, called lenses, that overlay objects like crowns and animal ears on users. Its executives clearly expect to overcome any early hurdles. Within a year, Snap said it plans to expand the program to include all creators.

Here’s what else is going on...

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
Opinion Asia Policy
China’s Tech Crackdown Is a Geopolitical Play
Art by Jesús Escudero
It hardly bears repeating that 2021 was a rough year for China’s platform companies. The firehose of new regulations and rolling crackdowns on everything from data security to overseas listings cost Chinese shares—including those of Didi, Meituan, Pinduoduo,, Tencent, and ByteDance—42% of their cumulative value in the U.S. and Hong Kong. Not so long ago, China held up...
Latest Briefs
China Plans to Require Big Internet Firms to Gain Approvals for Deals
Beijing Olympics Covid-Tracker App Has Security Flaws
NFT Gaming Company Animoca Brands Raised $360 Million at $5 Billion Valuation
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Illustration by Danielle Davis.
Decamped Venture Capital
A Venture Capitalist Found “Cowboy Self-Reliance” in Wilson, Wyoming
I n this week’s Decamped , we chat with Wesley Chan, a former general partner (and current board partner) at Felicis Ventures and the founder of Google Analytics and Google Voice.
Illustration by Jesús Escudero
Relocation Kit Travel Real Estate
So You’re Moving to Wyoming—Here’s Your Tech-Scene Starter Kit
Once the Wild, Wild West (or, really, just a fancy ski destination), the state of Wyoming is now a popular relocation destination for tech and venture capital entrepreneurs lured there by wide open spaces and world-class skiing.
Nick Tran. Photo by Hulu. Art by Mike Sullivan
TikTok’s Global Marketing Chief Abruptly Departs
TikTok’s leaders have pushed out Nick Tran, the company’s head of global marketing, two people familiar with the situation told The Information.
Art by Mike Sullivan.
Crypto Cowboys Crypto Real Estate
Their First Rodeo: Why Are DAOs Suddenly Leaping Into Wyoming Real Estate?
Should we buy this town?” The tweet, accompanied by a link to a Zillow listing for a $4.7 million abandoned ghost town in Colorado, was almost certainly a joke—but then again, maybe not.
Art by Haejin Park. Photo by Bloomberg.
The Big Read Crypto Policy
The Beltway’s ‘Bitcoin Lady’: How Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis Became Crypto’s Most Powerful Champion
Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a Republican from Wyoming, has a nickname for her favorite cryptocurrency: “It’s freedom money,” she says of Bitcoin, which she holds to the tune of about a quarter million dollars.
Images by Microsoft; Activision. Art by Mike Sullivan
News Analysis
Eight Takeaways From the Microsoft-Activision Deal
Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard may have caught the market by surprise, but the deal makes sense on a number of levels.