Let's not kid ourselves, we knew that we couldn't barf rainbows forever without seeing a little sponsored content. Now, ads are coming to Snapchat in a big way. Snapchat is launching a host of new options for brands and advertisers to reach their 150 million daily users, as well as new tools to create sponsored content for their platform.
The biggest change devoted users will notice are the "Snap Ads Between Stories." When users auto-advance to the end of a story or finish watching a video, they will occasionally encounter a full-screen, video advertisement with the sound turned on. These are (thankfully) skippable, and Snapchat promises that they will not interrupt the user content or flow of any user's Story. These ads will be touch sensitive and expandable, so if users swipe other than left, they may find themselves in a longer video, a related website (still within the Snapchat app), or being asked to download a sponsored app.
The popular photo and video messaging app is no stranger to this kind of content. Previously, Snapchat has worked with brands through their "sponsored lens" (recently popular with Taco Bell and Gatorade filters), and users have experienced "native" advertising through the Facebook filters.
Snapchat has announced it is making the process of advertising even easier by offering an API (application program interface). This automated system will allow advertisers to buy and control large campaigns, instead of negotiating with Snapchat directly. The ads will also be designed by a third party, rather than Snapchat itself. The company maintains that each ad published on the app be inspected for quality (similar to the Instagram model).
According to AdWeek, Snapchatters will not spot the ads for another few weeks. However, when the sponsored videos premiere, users may notice a certain trend towards entertainment as they swipe, based on their reported first test partners. Users will not be inundated with these ads, Snapchat's Head of Monetization Peter Sellis told AdWeek. Sellis stressed that with the roll out "We have to be thoughtful about inventory, ad load, and ad experience."
Limiting the ads is also beneficial for the brands, he says: "Something that I think often gets lost is that ad effectiveness can be inversely correlated with the number of ads that the viewer sees. If you see 50 ads in a day, the probability of you remembering them is low."
Expect to see a few movie trailers coming to the freshly redesigned Snapchat, as well as rapidly growing revenue in 2016, and a whole lot of chatter about a possible IPO.