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Snapchat to introduce six-second unskippable ads

According to 2017 statistics, Snapchat user uptake is winding down and its rival platform, Instagram is proving Snap to be a bantamweight when it tipped the scales at 700 million users in 2017, this trumped Snapchat's collective active audience of 173 million according to smartinsights.com.
© TeroVesalainen via Pixabay.

The millennial-hungry app is in danger of losing further users as their target audience is a captive market. Unless Snapchat ups its feature game, they’re in danger of truly going south. Taking all this into account and possibly in an act of blind desperation, the company will soon be forcing you to engage with non-optional ‘adverts’.

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Stocks not snapped up


The six-second unskippable ads will be tested in select Snapchat Shows and not in Snapchat’s magazine-style Discover editions or users’ personal stories. This is unlikely to catapult the company onto the popularity podium, a questionable decision in the wake of floating the company on Wall Street last year; Snap stock was down over 43 percent on its first day of trading in early in 2017 according to recode.net.

Do prerolls work?


There’s no such thing as a free lunch according to Snapchat, with their new commercial rationale playing to the payoff of free user content. According to an informed Snapchat spokesperson, the test will likely come into play on 15 May 2018; this is a bold stance considering a 2017 study by customer acquisition firm Fluent, found up to 69% of Americans often skip pre-roll adverts with numbers spiking further in the 18-24-year-old bracket. That’s a wad of wasted dollar on expensive production execution for ads that hang in the balance of user resonation.

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Risky business


And so, the age-old advertising debate rages on; do people pay attention to adverts and what is the guaranteed return on investment? As with all commercial channels, Snapchat sees itself hamstrung as they scramble to inflate their bottom line whilst placating media buyers. The balancing act of imposing ads on audiences versus running a commercially viable company is a tricky art.

Now for the good news


Earlier last month, Snapchat addressed the glaring bug in its Spectacles camera sunglasses with V2. Let’s be clear, the improved user experience isn’t groundbreaking but they have addressed the cumbersome issue of easy to carry glasses amongst other tetchy glitches. Mark Randall, VP of Snapchat hardware said Snap is just starting to reach out to professional creators, who could prove to people how fun Spectacles could be. For more information on the nuts and bolts of the new and improved hardware, visit techcrunch.com.
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About Sam Swaine

Sam Swaine is a freelance consultant with over 20-year's experience in marketing and PR. She also specialises in social media and digital marketing trends. Sam is a journalist for business, marketing and consumer publications.
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