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Snapchat Ads: A Bandwagon Mistake or A Smart Business Move?

Last month Snapchat entered the world of advertising. The social media company introduced its first ever ads to the users in the United States. It was a video ad promoting a new horror movie called Ouija.

snapchatSnapchat explained that “An advertisement will appear in your Recent Updates from time to time, and you can choose if you want to watch it. No biggie” and added “a lot of folks want to know why we’re introducing advertisements to our service. The answer is probably unsurprising- we need to make money”. The question is: Will the users stay on Snapchat and accept the ads or switch to other social media channels?

Snapchat promised not to put ads in private chats in order to avoid being “totally rude”. Furthermore, the ads will disappear after the user watches the ad or after 24 hours. At first glance, it is a good feature but the Snapchat ads are not targeted, which makes the social media marketing approach totally different on this platform. Snapchat does not target a specific audience but have a predominantly young audience. In addition, rather than showing users the “best advertisement” they are going to show ads that are not tailored to user’s interests. According to Snapchat, the main goal is to deliver an informative and fun experience to its users. Promoted ads allow the social media platform to maintain its services while offering neat content to Snapchatters. Even if this strategy could work for users, it may not become the best option for advertisers. Marketers that are going to invest in Snapchat advertisement take the risk of spending money on ads that the audience can clearly refuse to watch. With or without targeting, brands are interested in reaching the younger audience through this growing social media channel.

Obviously, Snapchat decision to introduce ads was based on the company’s goal to grow. Hopefully Snapchat ads will not be intrusive and keep the platform “cool” for the younger audience.

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November 14, 2014

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