social media toolsHave you heard of Snapchat geofilters?

Want to use them to promote an event or your business?

Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters let you design custom filters people can use on their snaps based on a custom location you define.

In this article I’ll explain how to create two types of Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters and explore several ways marketers can use them for business.

About On-Demand Geofilters for People and Businesses

Snapchat offers two types of On-Demand Geofilters: one type for people and one for businesses. The area for on-demand geofilters must be between 20,000 and 5 million square feet and they cannot be active for more than 30 days.

create snapchat geofilter

Learn how to create a Snapchat geofilter for your event or business.

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In Snapchat’s submission guidelines, the distinction is that On-Demand Geofilters for people cannot include any branding, business marks, business names, business logos, or other promotional content for a business or brand. They’re meant to be used for birthday parties, graduations, and other personal celebrations.

On-Demand Geofilters for businesses, on the other hand, are those that promote brands or businesses and must include a business name, which will be shown to let Snapchat users know that your business submitted the filter.

On-Demand Geofilters for businesses can use branding, business marks, business names, business logos, or other promotional content for a business or brand. They cannot, however, use photographs of people, URLs, phone numbers, emails, drug-related content, or content that you don’t own or have the authorization to use.

The content in any On-Demand Geofilter must also adhere to all of Snapchat’s Terms of Services, Advertising Policies, Privacy Policies, Community Guidelines, and other On-Demand Geofilter Terms and Conditions.

How to Create On-Demand Geofilters for Snapchat

To get started, you’ll need to go to the On-Demand Geofilters page and click on the Create Now button.

snapchat geofilter start page

Click Create Now to begin the process.

You’ll be asked to log into your Snapchat account. Then you’ll be given the option to download templates for your On-Demand Geofilter and to read the submission guidelines.

snapchat geofilter template download

Download a template or upload your own image file.

The templates provided by Snapchat are offered in both PSD and AI format. You can use these templates to quickly create your On-Demand Geofilters if you have Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.

You need to create a PNG file that is 1,080px wide by 1,920px tall with a transparent background that is under 300KB in file size. You can do this without Photoshop or Illustrator.

For example, let’s say that you wanted to create the image in Canva. You would use the Custom Dimensions option to create an image that is exactly 1,080px wide by 1,920px tall.

canva template dimensions

Be sure the dimensions of your image are exact.

I could add a shape at the bottom to create a banner effect.

canva design features

Add visual elements to your image template.

Then add text or upload a logo.

canva design features

Include a logo or text that represents the location of the filter.

You can download the image as a PNG file.

canva design export feature

Download your filter image.

Then open the PNG file in GIMP and use the Select by Color option to select the white area of the image.

gimp image editing

Use GIMP to edit your image.

Then use the Color to Alpha option to take the white selection and make it transparent.

gimp image editing color to alpha option

Create a transparent space in your image.

Overwrite the PNG file you downloaded, creating a geofilter with a transparent PNG background that’s under 300KB in file size.

gimp image editing overwrite feature

Overwrite the file to create your geofilter image.

When you upload the file to Snapchat, you’ll see a preview of what it would look like as an On-Demand Geofilter. This will allow you to edit your file accordingly until you get it just the way you want it.

snapchat geofilter upload

Preview your geofilter.

When your design is finished, click Next to choose the dates you’d like your On-Demand Geofilter to be active.

snapchat geofilter date range activation

Select up to a 30-day date range.

Then you choose the area Snapchat users must be in to use your On-Demand Geofilter.

snapchat geofilter geofence

Find your location on the map.

You’ll then draw a geofence around your precise location. This fence must be a minimum of 20,000 square feet. At this stage, you’ll get a pricing estimate based on the size of your fence and the date range you’ve selected.

snapchat geofilter geofence definition

Define an exact boundary for your geofilter.

On the final screen, you can confirm your order details including payment information and choose whether your On-Demand Geofilter is personal or business. This selection does not seem to affect the amount you’re charged for your geofilter.

snapchat geofilter order payment

Finalize your order.

Your On-Demand Geofilter will go into review after you’ve entered your details and submit it. You should get an email confirmation as well.

snapchat geofilter order confirmation

See this when you’ve successfully submitted your geofilter for review.

You can click on My Orders to review your order status and cancel your order if necessary. Orders cannot be updated at this point.

You’ll get an email from Snapchat to let you know your filter has been approved.

snapchat geofilter confirmation email

This is the confirmation email you will receive when Snapchat approves your On-Demand Geofilter.

You’ll be able to use it if you’re located in the area you specified with your geofence. Simply take a photo or video using Snapchat and swipe right like you normally would to access other filters like MPH, temperature, and standard location filters.

snapchat geofilter confirmation email

This is a Snapchat On-Demand Geofilter in action.

You can also visit the dashboard to review your On-Demand Geofilter’s metrics to get additional insights about its usage, such as the number of people who have viewed and snapped your geofilter.

Additional information about On-Demand Geofilters can be found in the Snapchat FAQ section.

5 Ways to Use On-Demand Geofilters for Business

Let’s look at some ways you can use an On-Demand Geofilter to promote your business.

Create an On-Demand Geofilter to brand your snaps

Do you encourage your employees to snap from the office or do you have a Snapchat account for your business? If so, brand your snaps with an On-Demand Geofilter.

Create an On-Demand Geofilter for your events

Are you hosting a local meetup, networking event, or conference? If so, create an On-Demand Geofilter to promote it and encourage as many attendees as possible to send out snaps at the event using the geofilter.

Create an On-Demand Geofilter for your local business

Want to turn a geofilter into an advertisement to nearby customers? Create an On-Demand Geofilter for your local business. You could include your logo with the text, “I’m at Sherry Closet’s Summer Blowout Sale,” “I’m having dinner at Ajo Al’s,” or similar.

Not only will people see it when their friends snap it, but if you create a large enough geofence, people nearby using Snapchat might come across the filter and stop by.

Create an On-Demand Geofilter for your service

Certain types of service-based businesses could benefit from having a geofilter when showcasing their best work via snaps.

For example, hair stylists could have a geofilter for their salon, photographers could have a geofilter for their studio or event venues, home builders could have one for neighborhoods they’re building in, tattoo artists could have a one for their parlor, and so on.

Cross-promote your On-Demand Geofilter snaps

If you’re using your On-Demand Geofilters for your own account, download the snaps or your entire stories and share them on your other social networks.

If you’re encouraging customers to use your On-Demand Geofilters, ask them to download and share their snaps or stories to other networks.

The goal is to get as much mileage out of your Snapchat content as possible!

One word of warning, though. When sharing your snaps to Twitter or Facebook, you won’t have any issues. When sharing to Instagram, even after you adjust the cropping from the square version, you still might lose a little of your On-Demand Geofilter as Instagram will not show an entire snap from top to bottom.

That might be something to keep in mind if you plan to cross-promote to Instagram.

In Conclusion

On-Demand Geofilters on Snapchat can be a great way to reach people in a specific location and have them spread the word about your event or business with their friends through photos and video. If you’re on Snapchat, be sure to give it a try to see what you can do with geofilters. And if you’d like a visual walkthrough, check out this video from Jeff Sieh.

Have you tried On-Demand Geofilters? What business uses do you see? Let us know how you’ve used them and what your experience has been in the comments below!

how to create a snapchat geofilter

Tips for creating a Snapchat geofilter to promote your event or business.

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  • Thanks Kristi! I’m having a hard time “cracking” Snapchat, and this type of feature actually makes sense to me from a marketing standpoint.

  • Shaun Ayala

    Love it! The only one thing I would add is to consider people with older devices when creating these, snapchat does not mention the text safe area, so try not to put important images or text at the complete bottom or complete top in your design.

  • You’re welcome Rosemary! It does open up a world of new possibilities, and it’s relatively inexpensive too!

  • Thanks Shaun! I agree about the older devices, but Snapchat’s sample templates do guide users to adding text at the very top or bottom of the Geofilters. I’m guessing that based on their analytics somewhere, only people with newer tech are using their app.

  • Shaun Ayala

    I hope they will provide info one day but I’m sure most people are using the latest. My wife is still on an iPhone 4s and many of these created geo filters are cut off. ? But maybe she the few still using that generation of screen resolution

  • I’m surprised that it wouldn’t just show the whole thing but smaller instead of cutting it off. That’s so weird.

  • Great overview @kikolani:disqus. I’m running some tests myself. What’s really exciting to me is the metrics they’re providing on these. The attached image is for a 24 hours test I did over a really small area. Basically, I’m probably the only one whose used this. I’m doing another test tomorrow in a popular hotel, so it will be interesting to see what kind of results that gets.

  • Sweet and thanks Tyler

  • Thanks for sharing Tyler! I was hoping for a bit more in the metrics department, but I guess that will have to do. 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing Tyler! I was hoping for a bit more in the metrics department, but I guess that will have to do. 🙂

  • Kate Talbot

    This is extremely helpful. Thank you for breaking it down! Will be so important for events going forward.

  • I hear ya. I would have liked to see unique users that used the filter along with unique users that viewed the snaps. Maybe down the road. Good start though for Snapchat.

  • Marc-André Paquin

    Wow! Thanks for this comprehensive post. It’s been bookmarked, and I will be coming back to this post in the near future! Great work as always.

  • David A. Murillo ️

    Is this new? I mean, do you happen to know how long it has been available to the public?

  • Are these geo-filters forced on snaps? So if I walk into the Donald Trump Rally geo-filter does it automatically get added to my snaps?

  • You’re welcome Kate! 🙂

  • Thanks! 🙂

  • It’s new in terms of being everyone having access to it. I know that some universities were creating them prior to this though.

  • No, not at all. It just becomes an option when someone snaps a photo or video and swipes right for fitlers. Kind of like the MPH, temperature, time, etc. You can choose a standard filter, choose a custom one if available, or not choose one at all. 🙂

  • Zain Kabani

    Hey, Kristi! Any idea when it’ll be available in Pakistan? As currently it says, unavailable in your location!

  • No, unfortunately not. If they give you an option to sign up for notification, I’d definitely go with that. Most social networks take a while to roll things out globally. 🙁

  • Zain Kabani

    Yes! Not having the notification sign-up option is a bummer! Anyway, thank you for the prompt response.


  • Celeste Bowden

    Note: This function isn’t due out until the end of 2016 in New Zealand (according to Snapchat). Wondered why I was having so much trouble trying to get one through their system. 🙁

  • McKenzie Wargins

    Thanks for the post! It was very helpful!! Unfortunately, I did not have photoshop or gimp to remove the white background. I used which had some simple tools that allowed me to make a filter without any hassle and it already had a the background removed so it was ready for upload. Made one for my friends birthday and everyone loved it!! 🙂

  • Grace Duffy

    Thank you! If you want to reference this article, you may quote the first three paragraphs and then link back to this article.

  • Claudia

    Thank you for this stop by step guide! It was written so clearly. I just submitted my first geofilter! Yay!

  • Would creating the image with a transparent background in Canva work and skip the GIMP?

  • If Canva has a transparent background option, then yes. I’m just used to GIMP, so I threw that in there. 🙂

  • You’re welcome. 🙂

  • Great post. Older devices is great to. I hope to read more info on your next post.