Snapchat decided to run the first ads on its mobile app over the weekend, far earlier than expected.
The first advertisement is for a trailer for the upcoming horror movie Ouija, and it started showing up in people’s Recent Updates section in the Snapchat app.
Here’s what it looked like:
— Gregory Littley (@littleylittley) October 18, 2014
Viewing the ad is optional for users, and once they’ve viewed it, it disappears, much like any other Snapchat message.
So far, the response has been mostly positive, with people appreciating how forthright Snapchat was in communicating its need for revenue in a blog post on Friday:
Understandably, a lot of folks want to know why we’re introducing advertisements to our service. The answer is probably unsurprising – we need to make money. Advertising allows us to support our service while delivering neat content to Snapchatters.
In addition, the ads themselves were pretty unobtrusive, especially compared to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, who received plenty of vitriol once they started monetizing their space. In contrast, people praised Snapchat for not invading their personal feeds and making the ads optional.
Snapchat is doing a very smart thing with their ads. They’re making money and in no way are the ads intrusive or even mandatory
— Adam Warren (@AdamJSmoove) October 18, 2014
The fact that I don’t HAVE to watch snapchat ads makes me want to watch them #brilliant
— Mickey Ward (@Mickdub29) October 18, 2014
What’s less clear is how much engagement these ads are getting, or how much value they are giving back to the advertisers. Snapchat has yet to release any projected figures for clicks or views but now that it’s had a successful first run, we can expect to see those figures show up in ad pitches pretty soon.