In the past, Snapchat has relied entirely on skippable advertisements, a business model that has since proven to be unsuccessful. According to Digiday, "the app has had a tough first year as a public company, struggling to grow users and missing growth expectations, and advertising is its only source of revenue".
Snapchat isn't the only social media company to upscale its focus on ads.
Indeed, these six-second spots are only available in Shows, the professionally produced, episodic series from top media partners like NBCUniversal, Walt Disney Co. and Viacom that appear in Snapchat's Discover section - programs like "Phone Swap" from Elisabeth Murdoch's Vertical Networks and ESPN's version of "SportsCenter" for the app.
However, since 2014, users had been able to skip the advertisements served before video content.
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Users will be disappointed to find that, for the first time, the ephemeral messaging app has started running adverts that users simply can not skip.
Company insiders reveal that users only viewed around two seconds on average, which is not good enough for its advertisers. "They can't build a viable ad-supported platform without changing", said one digital agency exec interviewed by the publication. They act much like commercial breaks on TV - remember those?
Snapchat has confirmed that it would start offering non-skippable ads for the first time. Besides being a pain for Snapchat users, the ads don't offer any links to a full video or an ecommerce experience, which can be found on Snapchat's usual ads.
The six-second ads show a bar keeping the exact time remaining hidden unless the viewers tries to skip by tapping the screen.
These six-second ads now appear only in the professionally produced Shows found in Snapchat's "Discover" section.