Snapchat founder says ads are on the way

Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel says ads are coming very soon to the photo messaging app. The move would be the first source of revenue for a company that is purportedly worth $10 billion. 

Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel says the photo sharing app will soon begin selling ads.

Snapchat is envied by many. The company is valued at $10 billion with essentially no revenue. That is about to change.

Speaking at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit in San Francisco Wednesday night, Evan Spiegel, a cofounder of Snapchat, said the company will soon debut ads, which will be featured in the Snapchat Stories feature. Users will be able to opt-out of ads. Mr. Spiegel says the ads won't be targeted, but he didn't say when the company will begin selling them. 

“We’re cutting through a lot of the new technology stuff around ads to sort of the core of it, which I think has always been telling a story that leaves people with a new feeling,” Spiegel says, according to The Wall Street Journal. “They’re not fancy. You just look at it if you want to look at it, and you don’t if you don’t.”

The ads will be the first source of revenue for Snapchat, an app that allows users to share photos and videos that disappear after a few seconds. Investors have been pressing the company to find a source of revenue to justify such a stratospheric valuation. The venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers recently invested $20 million in the company and raised another $163 million in five rounds of funding. And last December, many were perplexed when Snapchat said no to a $3 billion takeover by Facebook. Snapchat was also in talks with Alibaba, but the talks broke down. 

Snapchat is reportedly in talks with Yahoo, who wants to put $20 million into the photo messaging app. 

Experts have wondered when the company, which is getting millions of dollars in investment, would finally find a way to get revenue from its 100 million monthly users, most of whom are young.

"From an advertising standpoint, it’s an immature medium, but the audience composition is amazing — 50% are below 25 and the number above 35 is in the single digits," Ben Winkler, chief digital officer and chief innovation officer at advertising firm OMD, told Mashable.

Taco Bell and Grubhub have already been using Snapchat to offer promotions and hold contests with loyal users. 

Snapchat is also working to create a space where groups attending the same event can share stories, but the idea came to a head in Hong Kong recently, where protesters were using the app to share their experiences. Spiegel said that the company got into a big internal debate when deciding if they should create an "Our Story" feature for the protests. They decided against it. 

“One of my pet peeves over time has been the technology industry has tried to sell counterculture, sell the revolution, and we have been really resistant to doing that,” he says. “We didn’t feel like pushing these photos and videos out would turn that attention into action that would be helpful in Hong Kong.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Snapchat founder says ads are on the way
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today