Snapchat will soon be taking a page out of YouTube’s book by introducing new “Commercials” to its platform.

Snapchat Commercials: What You Need to Know

According to a recent Digiday report, a spokesperson for Snap confirmed that unskippable ads called “Commercials”, are set to begin being tested in the middle of May. These six-second advert will appear alongside some Snapchat shows but will not appear in personal stories or videos from the Discover news feed.

The Commercials are expected to comprise of very high-quality ads, not dissimilar from a typical television ad. And while details are still scarce on what it’ll cost to run these ads, it’s expected that the price tag will be quite large. It’s also currently unknown as to which advertisers will be granted the ability to run these ads initially.

 

Hard Times for Snap Inc

This is the first time Snap has played with the idea of having an unskippable ad format on its platform. It’s been highly speculated by people familiar with the test that the company is making this choice in an attempt to gauge how much ad exposure users are willing to tolerate, so it’s very possible that we’ll be seeing more ad formats as we learn more about user’s thresholds.

Despite the fact that it’s only six-seconds of forced exposure, the decision to add Commercials is quite a deviation from Snap’s typical advertising model, and it’s likely because the company has had a difficult time becoming profitable since it became public last year. It has struggled to grow both its user base as well as its list of advertisers, with a MediaRadar report revealing that fewer than 400 brands ran video ads on Snapchat between November 2017 to January 2018.

Image Source: Recode

 

A Changing Environment

Snapchat has made a series of changes over the past year to try and address the above concerns. Since the beginning of 2018, the company updated its app install ads with deeper insights, expanded its marketing API to all advertisers, launched two new location-targeting tools, and announced new AR lenses.

 

Cautious Optimism

A recent study revealed that over 60% of users skip ads on the platform. That percentage jumps even higher when accounting for the 18-24 year-old demographic. By forcing users to endure six-second Commercials, this new format could open the door to better ROI for brand advertisers and publishers marketing on the platform.

Time will ultimately tell.