You’re on Instagram, scrolling through your friends’ stories, and you reach an ad… you tap on the right and move on, that’s it. Now consider the same situation situation on Snapchat: you’re scrolling through your friends’ stories, and you reach an ad… boom, six seconds, and you can’t skip it. What are you more likely to do? Keep watching stories, or exit out of the app?
In an attempt to generate more revenue after seeing its stock price drop by more than 50 percent in a little more than a year, while taking a $40 million loss on unsold Spectacles, Snapchat has introduced the new ads to its service.
The good news is that if you just use Snapchat for chatting (but let’s be real, who does this when options like Kik and WhatsApp are available), you won’t ever see these ads. In fact, for now, you won’t see them scrolling through your friends’ feeds, either. The ads will be placed in between videos in the “Shows” section, which features longer-form videos produced by ESPN, NBC, Viacom, and others.
Gizmodo speculates that unskippable ads could pave the way toward a premium subscription for Snapchat users. However, the possibility remains that Snapchat could drive away more users than the revenue it generates with the new ads.
Worst of all, the ads don’t contain any hyperlinks or relevant information within the app. “So in the event that you actually see an ad for something you want,” writes Gizmodo, “you’ll still need to leave the app and resort to a Google search to learn more.”
Seems like one step forward, and two steps back.