Evan Spiegel has confirmed that advertising is indeed coming to the ephemeral messaging app that he co-created.
Speaking at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit, Spiegel revealed that his company is yet to make any money from the app's millions of users and promised that the ads that will be coming will be stripped down and engaging and all about narrative.
Snapchat has already laid the groundwork for the ads with the addition of ‘Stories'. It started out as an individual timeline, letting each user view their activity over the past 24 hours but, since its addition to the app in October last year, has morphed into something more collaborative and community-focused called Our Story.
This allows any user to add and share a snap on a specific topic, event or around a geographical location and the results are viewable in potentially any user's timeline. Sponsored stories have already started appearing, and, according to Spiegel, the ads will follow a similar style.
As such, Snapchat is following other social media platforms, most notably Facebook and Instagram, by turning to advertisers -- rather than billing users via a subscription -- in order to make its app profitable.
Launched in 2011, Snapchat has gone from obscurity to being the third most used social media app among US 18-34-year-olds -- ahead of Twitter and only behind Facebook and Instagram in terms of popularity. And much of its appeal is that unlike any of its social competitors, Snapchat is focused on the ephemeral. Messages, images and videos self-destruct once sent, leaving no permanent, embarrassing record.