Snapchat Snags Facebook’s Mike Randall As Monetization VP

Facebook may be stealing Snapchat’s features, but Snapchat is stealing Facebook’s employees, including a new one who could help it begin to make money. TechCrunch has learned that Snapchat has just signed the Global Director of Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developer program Mike Randall as its new VP Of Business And Marketing Partnerships.

Following this weekend’s highly successful launch of Snapchat’s new collaborative event livestream feature Our Story at the Electric Daisy Carnival music festival, Randall may have plenty of opportunities for Snapchat to finally start monetizing by working with other big events and brands.

Randall started at Snapchat this month after four years at Facebook. As global director of the PMD program, he worked with Facebook’s biggest developer partners to help brands run ads, publish content through Pages, build apps, and analyze the results. Before that he spent three years as the Western region’s VP of Marketing Solutions.

This experience will give him plenty of insight into how to help brands creatively embrace social media while raking in cash for his parent company.

Mike Randall (right) with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and VP Of Advertising David Fischer

Mike Randall (left) with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and VP of Advertising David Fischer. Photo Credit: Chris Barbour

Snapchat has plenty of directions it could go, like sponsored snaps sent directly to users or promoted accounts whose Stories they could follow. But a year ago, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel told TechCrunch’s Jordan Crook that “in-app transactions will come first. We think we can build really cool stuff people want to pay for. The app is now a part of everyone’s day-to-day lives. That means that they will — I at least would — pay for a more unique experience.”

photo (10)The EDC Live Our Story hinted at one thing Snapchat could sell. The feature let those attending the music festival in Las Vegas to submit snaps to a curated public reel of photos and videos from around Electric Daisy Carnival that anyone around the world could watch. After hitting up EDC in-person and watching it on Snapchat, I called Our Story a genius, collaborative reinvention of the live stream that was a vivid, accurate portrayal of what it felt like to be there.

When Snapchatters went to submit their photos and videos from EDC, they may have stumbled upon something special. Along with options to overlay the time, temperature, or Instagram-esque tints, they could stick colorful EDC filters over their Snaps that featured the EDC logo and images like “Party Up,” seen here.

Snapchat might one day sell these kinds of filters to let people “pay for a more unique experience” as Spiegel said. Behind the scenes, big music festivals and sporting events might pay Snapchat to make them an Our Story and promote it to users. And since an Our Story can be hundreds of clips long, it might be possible to slip in some branded snaps.

Figuring out which of these and other opportunities will resonate with brands without alienating users will be Randall’s responsibility. Luckily he’ll have help from another former Facebooker, Snapchat COO Emily White, who was formerly Instagram’s director of business operations. Together, they’ll tackle the tough job of keeping Snapchat cool while turning it into a lean, mean, yellow money-making machine.