We have just launched a new version of our popular banner maker app. The new BannerSnack PRO is aimed to reduce banner size, improve the overall quality of the banners and increase compatibility with major ad networks including Google AdWords.
Our main goal was to enable BannerSnack to output Flash banners that are fully compatible with Google AdWords. You can use buttons for interactive navigation through slides and ClickTAG for the external URL that you specify through your AdWords' ad properties. Everything is done seamlessly, and no coding is needed. If you have a VIP membership you can easily create more versions of the same banner and upload them to AdWords ad server as alternative content.
Our number two goal was to decrease the file size of each banner as much as possible. The 50KB restriction, that most ad networks use, is very hard to achieve even for a single .jpg image, however we managed to reduce file size for banners that were previously ±100KB to about 50KB. Technically, we built all effects from scratch and changed some of the banner internal architecture in order to reduce file size as much as possible. However, even if code was minimized and rebuilt, the image compression part remains unchanged for now (if you upload an uncompressed 100KB image into a banner, it will still weight at least 100KB at 100% compression).
Now, you have a list of very nicely designed Web 2.0 buttons that you can use. You can choose through multiple styles, change the background color, the text font properties such as size and color, and even a shadow text property.
We've reduced the number of effects to only 20 (10 for text, and 10 for other objects). We've chose the best performing effects and those that were used within most banners so far and rebuilt them from scratch. We've cut filters since it made banners look cheesy and made them large in terms of file size. However, we've kept the most used filter (Drop shadow) as a simple customizable property of any object.
We've introduced the iFrame embed code that performs different on devices that are not running Flash, such as iPad and iPhones. This way you are able to select what you want for a non-Flash user to see instead of the Flash banner. Therefore, you can now choose from a static screenshot of the first slide or the .gif slide-by-slide version of the banner, both following an external URL on mouse click.
Eventually, the old banner maker app will phase out in a few months if people will cease to use it. However, once you open the new banner maker app to create a new banner, previous users will be able to switch and use the old banner instead of the new one. The old banner maker will launch seamlessly if you attempt to edit previously created banners.
No. Due to radical improvements that we've performed such as effect types and properties, internal architecture, changes in filters and buttons we've decided that we will NOT build a bridge between the new and the old banner maker app. Any compatibility tool that could be built would have been a compromise of some kind since a few things are missing in the new banners (in favor of much better things). Finally if you want to edit previously created banners, just hit edit and the old banner maker app will load up. We will not kill the old banner maker app, but we are not willing to support further improvements to it.
In order to encourage you to become a VIP membership we will not change the membership subscription cost as a consequence of this major update. However, the pay per use cost for activating premium options on BannerSnack has changed to 8 points per banner now.
We strongly believe that by adding all these new features the actual value of the product increased to a PRO level. Designers can create the banner layers in Adobe Photoshop, export them to BannerSnack and animate them, turning them into top quality interactive banner ads.
Currently, BannerSnack alone has about 400,000 registered users. We are trying to react as quickly as possible and adapt to whatever our users ask for. We are already planning for templates, other new effects, a full interactive html5 version as well as a smart way to integrate videos, music, slideshows, and other SnackTools widgets within BannerSnack banners. We're also planning on developing partnerships that will allow the next generation of our banners to run across multiple ad networks and major publishing platforms.