Comment: Why adverts will help Snapchat, not hinder it


It’s the most popular instant messaging app of its generation and it seems like not a week goes by, where I’m not writing about it. Love it or loathe it, you can’t ignore it. Snapchat retains a dominance of the instant messaging market unparalled across any other format of social media. That is until now. In a series of stories published by tabloid newspapers this week, it has been revealed that Snapchat has “hired a number of journalists number of journalists and producers in the last few months and is working on plans to become a fully-fledged digital publisher”. In other words, Snapchat are turning to advertising.

So what do we know? It’s been well publicised that Snapchat have been working with the likes of BuzzFeed, Time, ESPN, Vevo and others to try and ascertain partners for their new ‘Discover’ feature of the app. Discover will form a section of the app where users will be able to read articles and watch music and video multimedia served by, you guessed it, the aforementioned media companies.

A number of tabloids have cast their doubts over Snapchat retaining its popularity with new features such as Discover. But will the adverts really have that much of an effect on the undisputed king of instant messaging? There’s no definitive answer to this, so you have to look at other social media apps that went throught the same process. Many people claimed when Facebook added adverts, it would kill off the ‘social’ aspect of social media, the same goes with Twitter. This is of course, just a broad overview and the real statistics can be derived from here but you can draw a lot of similarities from the two with Snapchat. If Discover is to be the main way Snapchat advertises, then it would appear that it will add more to the app as opposed to taking elements away.

It should come as no surprise that Snapchat are opening up different avenues into advertising. Even though the app has been valued at $10billion, it still isn’t making a profit. So why is it worth so much? The true value of the app lies within its advertising potential. Advertisers are, and if they aren’t they should be, chomping at the bit to try and promote their business on the app. Business User compiled these statisitcs about the app: Snapchat has about 60 million total installs, making it larger than Instagram when it sold to Facebook for $1 billion and of those 60 million installs, Snapchat has about 30 million monthly active users. Fifty-five percent of monthly active users use Snapchat daily. That’s 16.5 million people.

So what does this tell you about the power of mobile apps? Here are some startling statistics surrounding what we refer to as ‘the digital generation’.

The potential surrounding mobile apps is only growing. Whether it’s a social app, or a workflow and productivity one, mobile apps are revolutionising their sectors and still remain the best way to retain an audience.