Talking tech since 2003

Since its beginnings in 2011, Snapchat has charged forward unencumbered by the need for advertisement. Now, it seems, the company is looking to change that.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Snapchat is looking to advertise through a service dubbed Snapchat Discovery. So far, bits of news and video clips from TV shows or movies are the current form these ads would take. There are 12 firms involved in the talks as of yet, only one of which was named by the Journal––Mail Online, the online arm of the British newspaper the Daily Mail. Companies like Taco Bell currently advertise on Snapchat just by having their own account, so I would be very interested to know who else was in that room.

Snapchat is valued very high as a company, but has zero revenue. Facebook tried to buy them for $3 billion, but was rejected. This seems to indicate that Snapchat is either fiercely independent––a William Wallace of the tech companies, if you will––or has been cooking up plans to create revenue for a while. They’ve remained afloat thus far through money from investors, but that could only ever last so long. With approximately 27 million users and an estimated 500 million photos/videos sent per day, there is certainly an opportunity within Snapchat to reach a lot of people, and make a lot of money.

What I’m curious about is how exactly they would do this, how the advertisements would reach the users. Getting notifications only to find out that they’re advertisements would be one of the most annoying things Snapchat could do, and I would imagine they know that. They’re going to have to find a way to deliver the content separate from the Snapfeed. I envision being able to swipe to Snapchat Discovery, that it would be right next to My Friends where all the Snapstories are. It would look like Vine and Instragram combined, something you can scroll through. But that’s just speculation, there are a lot of forms it could take. Snapchat just needs to be careful, where there is potential for advertisement, there is also the potential for strong backlash. So to avoid that, they just need to make it not freaking annoying. You heard it from me first, people.

There are many questions that arise from the potential of Snapads. Will they exist only as a fleeting kiss upon the lips, like all other aspects of Snapchat? Or will they linger, like the dreaded screenshot? Will the videos be longer than a Snapchat video? If so, that hardly seems fair, but it’s difficult to fit advertising into 10 seconds. Bottom line, it’s going to be interesting to see this thing develop.

[WSJ (subscription required) via digitaltrends & mashable]


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