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Snapchat’s automated ad sales have arrived, and real ad dollars are likely coming next

Snapchat has launched its ads API.

Evan Spiegel, Snap Inc. CEO Asa Mathat for Recode

Snapchat is now using software algorithms to sell some of its ad inventory.

The company rolled out its ads API this weekend, which allows third parties to sell Snapchat’s ad inventory using automated bidding algorithms. Essentially, the technology will let Snapchat fill more ad inventory more quickly than selling it via a sales team, which is one of the reasons Facebook and Twitter and Instagram all offer similar APIs.

The company has been thinking about an API, an application programming interface, since the beginning of the year, and announced back in June that it was planning to launch one sometime this fall. And now here it is.

Expect Snapchat’s business to grow quickly as a result. The company is already on pace to meet its $350 million revenue target for 2016, and numerous people close to the company believe it could be a $1 billion revenue business by 2017. Automating its ad sales, and offering more granular targeting so that advertisers can reach the people they want to reach, should provide a big boost as the company looks toward an IPO.

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