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Snapchat plans to use your behavior to target you with ads

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The aura of privacy that prevails in regards to Snapchat is a fallacy. Yes, the snaps you share with friends aren’t saved by the app, but all your other data (including your Stories, Live Stories, in-app browsing info) belongs to Snapchat. Don’t believe us? Just have a browse of its privacy policy to find out for yourself.

Like other social networks before it, Snapchat now plans to utilize your information to rake in more advertising dollars. As the app inches closer to an expected IPO, its main concern (aside from diversifying its user base) is to ramp up monetization so it can rake in a predicted $1 billion in revenue this year.

According to Clement Xue, Snapchat’s director of revenue operations, the company will roll out behavioural targeting capabilities in the third quarter of 2016. What this means is that it will target you with ads based on your in-app activity (i.e. the accounts you follow, and the Discover media channels you frequently watch), reports Business Insider. Say your Snapchat activity includes a lot of beauty and lifestyle content — be prepared to encounter ads about lipstick and shoes.

At present, the app reportedly doesn’t plan to go so far as to take a page from Facebook‘s strategy and track your general web browsing history. However, it has already stepped up its efforts to court advertisers and its Discover partners with analytics regarding the way you interact with ad campaigns. It does this through its advertising API (application programming interface), which allows marketers to work with third parties to better optimize their promotional content. The API was announced alongside the launch of Snapchat’s first-ever video ads in June, which have begun to appear within Stories.

Snapchat has insisted that its approach to ads on its app, which kicked off in earnest in 2014, will remain “conservative.” Company’s CEO Evan Spiegel has publicly professed to being against “creepy” ads that follow users around the web. Nonetheless, it seems that pressure from advertisers seeking targeting options is influencing the app to add more features to its ever-expanding API. Snapchat has declined to comment on its advertising plans.

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