Snapchat isn’t a fan of native advertising, according to the company’s COO Emily White.
Native advertising attempts to make a brand’s message blend into surrounding editorial content. Magazines do this well with beauty products scattered among beauty how-tos, for example. BuzzFeed also popularised native advertising on the web by having brands like Doritos and Coke sponsor relative, viral lists.
White says Snapchat isn’t interested in this at all, because it views those ads as an attempt to trick readers. She says the company will shy away from ad placements that interrupt a user’s conversation, like a pre-roll ad. Instead, the company will give advertisers their own space on the app, and users can choose to interact with them or not.
“It’s getting really confusing to users. They don’t like to be tricked,” White said at a GroupM conference in New York.
A Snapchat blog post announcing paid placements shared the sentiment. “We won’t put advertisements in your personal communication — things like Snaps or Chats. That would be totally rude,” the company said.
Snapchat’s first advertisement was for a new movie, Ouija. It ran in the Stories section of the app. “[This ad] is a piece of content,” White said. “That’s a really important point. It’s not a pre-roll.”