Snapchat is putting together the building blocks for a powerful location-based ad business, Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein wrote in a note to clients on Monday.
The recently introduced Snap Map feature allows any Snapchat user to see where their friends are on a map of the world.
It also shows crowdsourced videos and photos, or snaps, that are shared from specific locations.
Oppenheimer's Helfstein believes that Snap Map represents an opportunity for Snapchat to let brands advertise to users based on the places they visit in the real world.
"In the long term, we see an online-to-offline advertising ecosystem emerging that SNAP can use to advertise through the transaction lifecycle: 1) building brand awareness and 2) driving store traffic," Helfstein wrote in the note, which was seen by Business Insider.
Snapchat parent Snap Inc. recently signaled its growing interest in location-based advertising with its purchase of the startup Placed, which helps advertisers track real-world purchases and store visits.