Snapchat ads have officially arrived

Steven Loeb · October 18, 2014 · Short URL:

The ads will appear in Recent Updates and will disappear after 24 hours

For a long time it seemed like Snapchat might be an outlier in the social media world, as in being the only one without advertising. Partially that was because it seemed like it would be difficult to incorporate them, given the nature of the app, and also because Snapchat seemed to value its position as being a new kind of social media company.

Recent reports and statements from the company made it clear that they were coming in some capacity, though. And now, quicker than many likely assumed, they are  already here.

The company announced on Friday that, beginning this weekend, it would begin showing ads for the first time. They will appear in the Recent Updates section and, according to Snapchat, users won't have to look at them if they don't want to.

"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," Snapchat wrote. "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."

The Stories feature, which it debuted last year, allows users are able to post videos and photos that can be viewed for a full 24 hours before they are deleted.

In fact, it's a little surprising that the ads are not actually appearing in Stories right now, given recent statements from Evan Spiegel, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Snapchat, that the feature would be the first place Snapchat would be injecting its ads.

Those ads, Spiegel had said, would not be targeted to a specific user, as all of the other social media networks do. And now Snapchat is making one more declaration: ads will never be put onto user's Snaps.

"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," the company sais. "It’s nice when all of the brilliant creative minds out there get our attention with terrific content."

Snapchat also makes it clear why it has chosen to go the advertising route.

"The answer is probably unsurprising – we need to make money. Advertising allows us to support our service while delivering neat content to Snapchatters," it said.

There could be one more place that the company might be putting its ads: Snapchat is getting ready to debut a new app next month called Snapchat Discovery, which seems to be basically a stand-alone version of stories. It will be dedicated to showing TV and movie clips, as well as news articles and advertisements, while also featuring the same self-destruct feature that has become synonymous with Snapchat.

Snapchat has already reportedly been holding talks with advertisers and at least a dozen media companies for the new app, including some newspapers, magazines and television networks.

The only one of these potential partners that has so far been named was British newspaper the Daily Mail, and it news website MailOnline.

Obviously ads are not the only way that Snapchat coiuld monetize. Another source of revenue could be Payments, allowing partners to sell goods and services through the platform, which seems like one likely option for the company to make money.

(Image source:

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