Snapchat will Apply Ads into Friends’ Stories

On Monday, Snapchat officially launched a “Snapchat Partners” which is a venture aimed at expanding advertising opportunities in its app. During the next couple weeks, those ads will start to occasionally appear between friends’ stories, which is skippable and won’t be inserted into the stories themselves. Snapchat told Adweek the goal is to avoid bombarding users with dozens of ads by taking a measured, conservative approach, and by making the quality of the ads a top priority.

The ads will be designed by third-party agencies, but not just by Snapchat itself. Advertisers will be able to choose additional actions when users swipe up on their content, including sending them to a longer video, directing them to a website or article (without leaving Snapchat), or prompting them to install another app. The video advertising in the Snapchat is similar to what Instagram did for promoting the advertisements.

Snapchat would also launch a new API for managing the activities and ad campaigns in Snapchat by those who partner companies use the API. Ads Partners will develop software and analytic tools for advertisers themselves, while Creative Partners will focus more on the end product. A third category, Measurement Partners, will give advertisers new ways to gauge how users interact with their product.

In 2015, Snapchat earned $59M in revenues with its mobile app. By launching the new advertisement program, Snapchat expects to make between $250M and $350M by the end of 2016, and between $500M and $1B by 2017.

Here is the advertising announcement that Snapchat made on Monday via a feature story in Adweek:

  • Snapchat is launching an ads API, which means third party ad tech startups will soon be able to sell Snapchat’s ad inventory using software and bidding algorithms. It’s the same strategy Facebook, Twitter and Instagram implement, and one that Snapchat has been thinking about since the beginning of the year.
  • Snapchat will soon show ads between users’ Live Stories, which means that as you scroll through your friends’ photos and videos, you may also see a word or two from one of Snapchat’s advertising partners. This is the closest Snapchat has gotten to Facebook or Twitter’s feed-style advertising product, and the move means Snapchat will soon have a lot more ad space to fill.

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