September 02 2016

How to Make a Snapchat Geofilter

Naeesa Aziz

Whether for business or personal use, Snapchat Geofilters are a fun way to add a cool social element to your event. Its like a virtual photo booth and, for businesses, it makes guests enthusiastic about sharing your branding with all of their friends across social media networks.  

Snapchat allows users to submit two types of Geofilters: Community and On-Demand. Community filters are for public locations like cities, universities, and landmarks, and do not require payment. On-Demand filters can be used for personal and business purposes (i.e. your sister Pam’s graduation party or your company’s annual clambake). On-Demand filters are designed and uploaded by you, the user, and Snapchat charges you by the length of time and geographic area (called a Geofence) you want the filter to appear in. Kind of like an ad. 

How much does it cost to have your own Snapchat Geofilter?

Well, that depends on whether you are designing it yourself, how long you want the filter to appear, and how large of a geographic area you want the filter to appear in. Right now, Snapchat charges $5 per 20,000 feet — which isn’t bad at all. For example, a recent event I provided social media services for was held at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. I was able to cover the entire conference hall for about $37. Although I initially wanted to cover the entire city block, I found that to be unnecessary. So, if you have a limited budget, make sure you know exactly where you want the filter to show up.

How to Design Your Snapchat Geofilter 

The obvious (but priciest answer) is to have a graphic designer draft something up for you. This is probably your best option if you have limited design skills or you want something unique.

How much will a graphic designer charge to make a Snapchat Geofilter?

Prices will range from about $70-100 if you have your own logo, or graphic collateral that you wish you use. If you are asking the designer to create something from scratch, that price will increase considerably.

If you want to design the Snapchat Geofilter yourself, here are your options:

Use Snapchat’s Online Design Tool

Snapchat has rolled out a cool, easy to use design tool that lets you create custom Geofilters from pre-made templates. This is by far the best option for a low-profile event that you want to create something quickly for.

 Attempt to make it yourself in Gimp or Canva

Gimp and Canva are free design tools. Canva is online and relatively simple to use. Gimp is more akin to Photoshop, meaning that its functionality is less intuitive and you will need to spend time actually learning to use the program before being able to design anything with it.

Despite what the internet says you can’t make one in Canva from start to finish. You can make a design, but you’ll still need to export it to Photoshop or Gimp in order to make the background transparent — which defeats the purpose in my opinion.

Make a Geofilter on IOS/Android Apps

There are a number of mobile apps that allow you to design filters with pre-made templates. Depending on your preference for the style of the graphics, it may be easier to use Snapchat's tool.


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