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Snapchat Uses Rival Instagram to Promote ‘Real Friends’ Ad Campaign

Snapchat’s newest advertising campaign may raise eyebrows at Facebook headquarters. As part of a new global marketing initiative, Snap has promoted the hashtag “realfriends” on Facebook-owned Instagram with ads for its app.

To do this, Snap paid a handful of popular Instagrammers to promote the campaign, effectively avoiding Facebook’s own ad tools, a company spokesperson confirmed. Like the yellow billboards that have been spotted recently in major cities around the world, the posts feature inspirational quotes about friendship by famous figures like Jim Morrison and Marilyn Monroe. A company spokesperson said the campaign will run through outdoor advertising formats such as billboards, print, broadcast and digital channels in the U.S., India, Australia and Europe.

The campaign, especially its placement on rival Instagram, is a bold move by Snap at a time when the company is on the upswing. After reporting better-than-expected earnings last week, Snap shares surged to their original listing price of $17 for the first time since the company’s early 2017 initial public offering. While Snap’s stock appears to be out of the trenches for now, the question is whether Snap’s focus on “real friends” will be enough to sustain long term user growth.

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