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Snapchat Rolls Out New Ad Format in Time for Black Friday

Snapchat adds sponsored content within user Stories.

Snapchat unveiled a new ad format Thursday, placing sponsored content from Amazon Macy’s and Hollister alongside user-generated content.

The ads appear within Snapchat’s “Black Friday” themed Our Story — a montage of pictures and videos submitted by users that all pertain to the shopping day. Snapchat offers similar so-called Stories for other events — concerts, college football games, etc. — but this is the first time the company has advertised within one of these compilations.

Dragon Age

On two other occasions, advertisers have sponsored an Our Story by adding their logo to user content. Samsung sponsored the Our Story for the American Music Awards earlier in the week, and Macy’s sponsored the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” Our Story on Thursday.

But the “Black Friday” Story, which was sponsored by Amazon and Hollister with ads from both throughout, was the first time an advertiser inter-spliced its own content alongside user content (as opposed to simply sponsoring). The addition of advertising to user stories a major step for Snapchat, which just started advertising last month.

Snapchat has previously run sponsored content within the app, but it stood separate from the user content as its own standalone Story. Snapchat is featuring one of those ads, too, this weekend. Electronic Arts is running a 20-second video ad for new videogame Dragon Age: Inquisition. EA is the second advertiser to take out a long, standalone video ad on Snapchat; Universal Studios has done so twice.

As for Amazon, the e-commerce giant is also buying space on Twitter, via what appears to be a new version of Twitter’s “promoted trends” ad.

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