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Snapchat being taken over by no-skip ads

by Justin Herrick | May 15, 2018May 15, 2018 8:00 am PDT

Advertisements that you can’t skip are appearing on Snapchat. The company behind the popular messaging app has started rolling out no-skip ads, but they’re only attached to publisher-made content. So you won’t actually see ads placed between your friends’ messages and stories. Yet there’s no question users will be annoyed by the ads when they do come across them.

With its latest move, Snap hopes users and advertisers view these six-second clips as a more palatable form of what’s already on television during commercial breaks.

Snap is bundling no-skip ads with original programming as revenue remains weak. After it finished last year strong, Snap opened 2018 with another disappointing quarter. The company is struggling to make money while Facebook-owned Instagram continues thriving.

As mentioned earlier, ads aren’t going to be attached to user-made content. What you and your friends share will remain ad-free. But once you dive into the Discover section on Snapchat, you’ll start seeing spots that have been paid for. Many services do this, and thus Snapchat doesn’t deserve too much criticism. Snap needs to make money, after all.

Some of the ads currently running on Snapchat are for the Samsung Galaxy S9, Deadpool 2, and Tag. Snapchat shows full-screen ads with a label in the bottom-right indicating its paid content, and in the top-left you’ll see the name of the product or service along with minor details.

Following the decision to tweak its massive redesign for the better, it’s surprising to see Snap swiftly introduce something users will undoubtedly dislike. If anything, rolling out no-skip ads should’ve been held for a few more weeks (or months).

Both publishers and advertisers have been reportedly frustrated with viewership on Snapchat. Advertisers are getting a meager two seconds of viewing time per ad, which is making them pull away from spending on the platform.

The business model can’t sustain itself if advertisers aren’t present. Publishers like NBCUniversal and Viacom want their original programming to make money, but a lack of ad revenue will make them scale back. Allowing advertisers to purchase condensed ad time might be what Snap needs to brighten its bottom line and impress investors.

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Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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