Snapchat chief executive and co-founder Evan Spiegel announced Wednesday that the popular photo and video sharing site will soon begin including advertisements in their user’s feeds.
Spiegel, being interviewed at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, said that advertisements will soon be seen in their Snapchat Stories feature, mixed in between photos and videos that users have shared. The ads will be the first source of income for the 3-year old company, recently valued at $10 billion by investors. Spiegel has been under pressure by investors to turn the popular social media service into a profitable enterprise, but it remains unclear how the users of the previously ad-free service will react to seeing advertisements in their feeds. Advertisements will not be personalized based on users’ personal information and will not overwhelm the experience, he assured.
We’re cutting through a lot of the new technology stuff around ads to sort of the core of it, which I think has always been telling a story that leaves people with a new feeling,” Spiegel said. “They’re not fancy. You just look at it if you want to look at it, and you don’t if you don’t.”
The company has already been in talks with marketers and several media companies, as part of their upcoming Snapchat Discovery service. But Speigel would not comment on any specific ads that may appear nor the how the advertising fits in with the company’s plans for Snapchat Discovery.
The challenge will now be to incorporate the paid content without alienating their user base. Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, also being interviewed, cautioned,
“His (Spiegel) challenge is always going to be somebody else comes up with, instead of Snapchat, a ChatSnap, and then he’s got to find some ways to not only keep his technology better but to stay au courant, to be the fashion.,”
What are your thoughts? Do you think this is a wise move for Snapchat, or are you dismayed that another previously ad-free service has succumbed to financial pressures? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter!