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Snapchat Will Run Its First Ad This Weekend. Watch Before It Disappears
The non-targeted ad will appear in U.S. users' "Recent Updates." The company is working on building a revenue stream for its popular ephemeral messaging service.
Snapchat, the popular disappearing photo and video messaging service, announced today that it will run its first in-app advertisement this weekend. And in keeping with its edgy corporate ethos, it says it’s doing it because it needs the cash, but isn’t going to force ads on anyone.
“Understandably, a lot of folks want to know why we’re introducing advertisements to our service,” Snapchat wrote in a blog post. “The answer is probably unsurprising – we need to make money. Advertising allows us to support our service while delivering neat content to Snapchatters.”
The advertisement — placed by an as yet unidentified company — will appear in the “Recent Updates” section of the Snapchat mobile app for users in the United States. Other than the country, it won’t be targeted. Like all Snapchat “Stories” it will be viewable for 24 hours. The blog post explained further:
The best advertisements tell you more about stuff that actually interests you. Some companies spend a lot of time and collect a lot of data about you to figure that out. The product we’re releasing today is a lot simpler. An advertisement will appear in your Recent Updates from time to time, and you can choose if you want to watch it. No biggie. It goes away after you view it or within 24 hours, just like Stories.
We won’t put advertisements in your personal communication – things like Snaps or Chats. That would be totally rude. We want to see if we can deliver an experience that’s fun and informative, the way ads used to be, before they got creepy and targeted. It’s nice when all of the brilliant creative minds out there get our attention with terrific content.
Snapchat’s move into advertising has long been anticipated, and last week CEO Evan Spiegel said ads would be coming soon. The Los Angeles-based startup is working to cash in on its estimated 100 million monthly active global users and is reported to be negotiating a funding round that values the company at nearly $10 billion, despite the fact that it hasn’t produced revenue.
That’s changing now, although it remains to be seen how many of Snapchat’s youthful-skewing users will respond to the soft sell and open the ads. And how many companies, including Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Audi, General Electric and GrubHub, that have been using the platform as free marketing tool will find the value to paying for extra, non-targeted reach.
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