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Snapchat Ads Have Arrived

Snapchat will run its first ever advertisement over the weekend.

Asa Mathat

Snapchat is ready to make some money.

The ephemeral messaging app wrote in a blog post that it will run its first ad this weekend, generating the first revenue dollars for the company. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Snapchat says its ads won’t be targeted for specific users. Instead, the presumably video ad will exist within the “Recent Updates” area of the app for 24 hours for all U.S. users, and they’ll have the option whether or not they’d like to watch it.

People have been waiting for Snapchat to unveil some kind of monetization strategy for some time. At the Vanity Fair Summit in San Francisco last week, CEO Evan Spiegel said that advertising was on the horizon, but didn’t give a specific timeframe. In the blog post announcing the upcoming ad on Friday, Snapchat explained why it’s ready to work with advertisers: “The answer is probably unsurprising — we need to make money.”

This weekend’s ad isn’t just a one-off test for Snapchat. Ads will now appear to users within the “Recent Updates” portion of the app “from time to time,” the company said. Snapchat added that it won’t put advertisements into the personal areas of the app, like messages or snaps. The “Recent Updates” area where this weekend’s ad will appear includes Snapchat Stories, the content that users share publicly for a 24-hour period.

The ad will include a “Sponsored” label to distinguish it from the rest of the user content, according to a spokesperson.

Snapchat’s not unveiling the name of its first advertiser, but we’ll know soon enough. It will be interesting to see how users respond to ads within Snapchat. Instagram’s first foray into advertising last year resulted in lots of unhappy grumbling from users. The company recently took funding at a $10 billion valuation, so investors will no doubt be among those watching carefully to see how the new ad content is received.

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