"Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Ed Darmanin, chief revenue officer at 140 Proof.
Ever since Snapchat crashed the social networking scene, the app has made social heavyweights fidget anxiously and spawned a long line of imitators. It recently began the inevitable journey towards monetization, in the only way social platforms know: selling advertising. Its first ad officially ran over the weekend.
This is Snapchat’s shot at becoming the next big thing not just for millennials, but also for the advertisers that want their attention. Does it have to get it perfect right out of the gate? No, and so far it has not, but its experimentation is a good thing. As details emerge about its initial efforts, there are some useful observations we can make from the understandable flaws in the experiment.
Disappearing Eyeballs, Disappearing Advertisers?
Snapchat isn’t dissimilar from Facebook a few years back when it was first pivoting to incorporate advertising. You can expect the audience to be unwelcoming. And so Snapchat is bending over backward to ease its audience into this advertising transition.
The ads will start out nestled within Snapchat “stories,” the 24-hour status updates that users provide friends. While consumers might like the stories function, they’re less apt to actively check in for status updates on the app as stories don’t generate an alert like a regularly received “snap.” The average user checks their account about 14 times a day, but it’s unclear how much users interact with stories, and much less how they might interact with branded stories. All of this means fewer eyeballs for the ads.