Snapchat Promises Its First Ads Won’t Be 'Creepy'

Snapchat is preparing to display ads on its app for the first time in the U.S. The ads will be shown in the “recent updates” section of the app.
Posted at 9:11 AM, Oct 18, 2014

Brace yourselves, Snapchat users: the messaging service is about to deploy its first advertisements in the U.S.

The ads will be shown in the “recent updates” section of the app, not in personal communication. Much like its messages, Snapchat says each ad will disappear after a set time, regardless of whether it’s been viewed.

“We want to see if we can deliver an experience that’s fun and informative, the way ads used to be, before they got creepy and targeted.”

Ads will stick around for a maximum of 24 hours. VentureBeat says Snapchat will be looking for a balance “that can satisfy advertisers without annoying users.”

But Snapchat’s suggestion it won’t target its ads is raising eyebrows. At GigaOM:

“It didn’t say how, exactly it would offer ‘informative’ ads that simultaneously weren’t ‘targeted.’ Isn’t that the point of targeting an ad? So it’s more likely to reach a person who finds it useful?”

PCWorld points out Snapchat’s terms of service does permit the collection of cookies and location data.

“Snapchat does have a decent pot of data on some users that might be employed for targeting ads, even if the company doesn’t like the word ‘targeted.’”

In any case, expect the industry to watch the ad rollout closely.

Snapchat’s got more than 100 million monthly active users at last count. If the company can figure out how to monetize that traffic, it stands to finally start living up to its sky-high valuation.

That’s at close to $10 billion, following news of another round of investment earlier this year. (Video via CNBC)

Snapchat says its rollout will take place this weekend.