If you are a user of the popular mobile application Snapchat then you know they have started to use the stories section for advertisements. On October 17th they detailed in their blog that they would start advertising to users in the United States. They said it was the first time they were approached for paid advertising and decided to take the “plunge.” The ads themselves are not particularly invasive. The ads only display in your stories section and you are not required to watch them. The stories section was introduced to us on October 3rd and we have seen several videos from Snapchat themselves in this section. The ads work the same way stories do. Once they are viewed they disappear in 24 hours. If you opt not to watch them they will still disappear.
The Snapchat team was upfront with their reasons for advertisements. They simply need money. The ads only display in your stories and in no way affect your personal snaps or your chats. Snapchat is actually approaching ads in a way that benefits the end user. The ads are creative and informative. Social media giants like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all approach advertisements in the same manner. The ads they use are creepy, targeted and feel completely like an invasion of privacy. They are also forced on you because you have no alternative services similar to them.
The ads from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram remind me of a candid camera episode I watched where a salesman is selling a 60-Inch TV for $100. The catch is that the entire screen is filled with ads except for an 11 inch display that shows your program. When it comes down to it though an ad is an ad is an ad. The difference is, with Snapchat I get to choose whether or not I want to be subjected to ads. With Facebook I have no choice.
It is still unknown exactly how the companies purchasing these ads will make a return of investment. In order for the ads to be effective the company would want the user to view the ad for the entire time. Snapchat also makes a point of saying that the ads chosen were creative and benefit the users being targeted.
I believe the ads were inevitable and expected. Then again if Snapchat truly needed money the two owners Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel should not of pocketed $10 million. We should not forget who the creators of the app are and the drama behind the creation of it. They could also consider doing more with their actual website instead of being a landing page to download their app. We have the iTunes and Google Play store for that.
The first ad to run on Snapchat is for the upcoming film “Ouija.” I am not sure exactly how the producers will be able to monitor the influence of the Snapchat ad when they have alternative means of advertising the movie. For example the movie “The November Man” advertised primarily through YouTube ads and advertisements on popular gaming websites like MLG. This was a proper way to access advertisement efforts to a target audience.
You can read more from Snapchat’s blog.