Snapchat announces plans to introduce ads this weekend

The free ride is over. Fans of photo-sharing application Snapchat will now have to endure advertisements in exchange for use of the otherwise free application. Amidst all the iPad, Lollipop, Nexus craziness that has been happening this week, Snapchat today updated its blog to confirm that ads are coming this weekend.

On Friday morning, Snapchat confirmed that users in the United States will see an ad in ‘Recent Updates.’ While the company admits that it will ‘feel a little weird at first,’ Snapchat is hoping the way it serves ads will be beneficial to the user.

Instead of using data you’ve shared with the company to show you ads that are relevant to your interests, Snapchat will feed you an ad that you can look at or not look at, it’s up to you Regardless, the ad will be gone in 24 hours (and presumably replaced with a new one). The company doesn’t mention whether it will be tracking which ads users do choose to view, though one can assume that’s how the ads will become more interesting to users over time

While many users may see this introduction of one ad in the Recent Updates feed of users in a single country as a slippery slope, Snapchat assures users it won’t put these ads in your conversations with friends.

We won’t put advertisements in your personal communication – things like Snaps or Chats,” the company said in a blog post. “That would be totally rude. We want to see if we can deliver an experience that’s fun and informative, the way ads used to be, before they got creepy and targeted. It’s nice when all of the brilliant creative minds out there get our attention with terrific content.”

Interestingly, Snapchat didn’t use the word ‘never,’ though it does sound optimistic that this method will work. The company says it’s doing this because it needs to make money to support the service. Hopefully this experiment doesn’t ever lead to ephemeral advertising in users feeds.