Snapchat will introduce video ads to one of its biggest features as part of its long-awaited API (application programming interface).
Confirming its aggressive revenue outlook for 2017 — which will see it target $1 billion, up from a predicted $300 million this year — the app today announced a massive push into advertising to help it reach that goal.
For Snapchat’s users, the biggest new change, alongside its recently overhauled Discover section, will be the introduction of ads to its community’s stories (these are the snaps that are available for 24 hours). The ads will reportedly be slotted between stories, which are viewed back-to-back, and will include sponsored clips from brands such as P&G, Verizon, Warner Brothers, and several other companies.
Much of the new advertising will be developed by a number of third parties, termed “Snapchat Partners.” This group is split into two categories: The software arm that will help brands buy, optimize, and analyze their campaigns; and the creative arm that will help with the creation of the content itself.
Snapchat claims that it plans to take a cautious approach to the API’s rollout as not to offend users. Consequently, over the coming weeks and months, the company states that it won’t bombard you with ads on its platform. A Snapchat spokesperson has also verified that users will be able to skip ads, according to Tech Insider.
“We have to be thoughtful about the inventory, ad load, and the ad experience. But we also know that we cannot build custom ad-tech solutions for every big type of advertiser, for every vertical. And so these [partners] really excel in those kinds of ways,” Peter Sellis, Snapchat’s head of monetization, told Adweek.
“By doing this the right way, focused on creativity and doing it early, it allows us to be extraordinarily conservative … If you see 50 ads in a day, the probability of you remembering them is low,” he added.
Video ads could potentially be the biggest money spinner thus far for the visual messaging app. The company already boasts a similar format with its sponsored Live Stories that mix branded content with community-sourced media in conjunction with a live event.
As noted by other social networks, such as Facebook, videos boast an incomparable rate of user engagement. Whether or not sponsored clips will be as effective within Snapchat stories remains to be seen.