Snapchat’s new monetisation policy will enable marketers to buy untargeted, disappearing ads
It seems safe to say that Snapchat has been nothing short of a sensation since its introduction to the consumer terrain back in 2011. The media sharing platform’s meteoric rise over the past three years has seen it change the very way that people interact with each other, now being used by millions of individuals each and every day to convey humoristic sentiments or converse for free.
It is was in the backdrop of these staggering levels of success that the company’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, was in a position to turn down Facebook’s ludicrous offer of nearly $3 billion for the acquisition of his brainchild – a decision which was initially questioned but has turned out to be an utter masterstroke, with Snapchat now being valued at a monumentally higher $10 billion.
Spiegel’s decision to reject Facebook’s blockbuster offer was seen as a clear indicator that he was preparing to monetise his service through paid-for advertisements, and it appears that the social media innovator has determined that the time is now right to strike, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the facility will be made available to marketers over the upcoming months.
The question many readers will be asking here is how a platform such as Snapchat – which is based on short term visuals – will attract marketers to fork out for paid-for ads. After all, surely any ads that are displayed on Snapchat will only be visible for a matter of seconds, making it highly likely that they will either miss the mark with their target audience or fail to be processed properly by the mobile users who see them altogether.
However, it appears that this is the route that Spiegel intends to go down; with the Wall Street Journey outlining that the new ads will be untargeted and vanishing – a feature which might be potentially problematic for digital marketers. The new ads will be visible in the Snapchat Stories section, in-between the different photographs and videos from users, and will not be targeted at any particular group or demographic.
Whilst Spiegel failed to identify a tangible release date for the new paid-for ad service, he teased a rollout ‘very soon’. He also highlighted that simplicity, not extravagance, was the governing doctrine of his strategy for marketing the new facility, when questioned over whether the untargeted nature of the new ads facility will undermine its popularity,
“They’re [the ads] not fancy. You just look at it if you want to look at it, and you don’t if you don’t”, he said.
The great attraction of social advertising has universally been regarded to be that it assists advertisers to establish their brands globally, by providing them with a platform to release targeted ads at people who are most likely to interact with them. Snapchat’s decision to go against the curb is both bold and brave, and only time will tell whether the short, sharp approach to digital advertising is effective for inducing sales conversions. Whilst it is easy to envisage it being successful for general branding campaigns, the same cannot be said for client acquisitions, and Spiegel may have to embark on a major re-think of his strategy later on down the line if this particular decision doesn’t come off. In the meantime, he’ll most likely be supremely confident over his decision to try and break the mould again – particularly considering how much of an unstoppable juggernaut Snapchat has been in its initial three-year rampage.
For further details about Snapchat’s new monetisation strategy, check out the article from the Wall Street Journal.