Snapchat to serve users with 6-second unskippable ads

According to reports, Snapchat is planning to test six-second unskippable ads.
27 April 2018

According to reports, the app will start testing the new feature mid-may. Source: Shutterstock

How do you like the sound of six-second ads on Snapchat that cannot be skipped? Unfortunately for Snapchatters, this may be the future of the app.

In a bid to start turning a profit, Snapchat is going to start testing non-skippable ads in its TV-like shows, according to a report by Digiday.

The company was once averse to serving its users with ads, but after a tough first year as a public company with slow user growth and missed growth expectations, a Snap spokesperson has confirmed the testing of the new ad format.

The ads will last six-seconds and will run in certain “Snapchat Shows” – not in Snapchat’s Discover section or in the personal stories of users. The tests are rumored to roll-out around May 15.

How well the ads will go down with the apps user-base is something that only time will tell. However, today’s generation is used to having to sit through advertisements in order to watch shows for free, especially on video-streaming platform YouTube.

Having to watch ads before gaining access to free content is something that millennials are used to. Source: Shutterstock

But in order to keep users on the app, Snap is going to have to ensure that the ads are compelling enough to hold their attention. In the past, the company has had a difficult time getting users to watch ads on the platform.

A study conducted last year found that 69 percent of Americans “always” or “often” skip ads on Snapchat. This increased to 80 percent for 18 to 24-year-olds; the prime audience of the platform.

Serving its users with unskippable ads could be a risky move from Snap, who has received a vast amount of criticism in recent months due to its recent redesign.

One of the main changes to the design includes separating content from friends and family from content posted by brands. The revamp kicked up a storm among Snapchatters, with over one million people signing an online petition demanding for the changes to be reversed.

Celebrities also voiced their dismay at the redesign, including influential Snapchat user Kyle Jenner, who tweeted her frustration with the app to her 24.5 million followers.

According to reports from Recode, Snapchat is now apparently testing rolling back the redesign.

For brands though, the ads could represent a brilliant opportunity to capture the attention of viewers and promote themselves in a “snappy” (pardon the pun) six-second window.