Snapchat says it Will Start Showing Ads that Are Not “Creepy and Targeted”

Snapchat (Photographer: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
Snapchat (Photographer: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)

Snapchat Inc. will start showing advertisements to its users, taking a step toward justifying the $10 billion valuation investors have placed on the startup.

Unlike other social-media providers, Snapchat won’t be putting ads in people’s feeds, which “would be totally rude,” the company said in a blog post yesterday. The Los Angeles-based company, which makes an app for sharing disappearing photos, also said it won’t use members’ data to more effectively target the ads, which debut this weekend.

“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,” Snapchat said.

Snapchat has attracted investors including Yahoo! Inc. and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, people familiar with the matter have said. Snapchat has been working on its business model as it seeks to generate revenue from disappearing pictures. Users send more than 700 million disappearing “snaps” a day and more than 500 million stories are viewed daily, the company has said.

Snapchat Chief Operating Officer Emily White was in New York for the Advertising Week conference earlier this month, explaining the company’s services. Earlier this year, the company hired Facebook Inc. executive Mike Randall to lead its advertising partnerships.

The ads will start in the U.S. as part of the Recent Updates section of the app, and viewing them will be optional. That contrasts with Facebook’s and Twitter Inc.’s strategies to use members’ data to target ads so that they are more relevant, displayed alongside content from friends or posts users have signed up to follow.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at [email protected] Reed Stevenson, Niamh Ring

SOURCE: Sarah Frier 
Bloomberg

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