As Snapchat’s ad biz expands, it’s pressing for shorter ads
Snapchat will make it easier for brands to buy ads to run in more places, but it's also pushing advertisers to cut their ad lengths.
People should expect to start seeing a lot more ads on Snapchat soon. But they may end up seeing less of each ad.
On Monday, Snapchat announced plans to make it easier for brands to buy and produce its vertical video ads — now called Snap Ads — and to test ads inserted between stories, the collections of photos and videos that individuals post for people who follow them to see.
An influx of Snapchat’s skippable ads interrupting the flow of swiping from one story to the next means that Snapchat would need to be careful about how it intersperses those ads in order to not annoy its audience. And it appears to be doing so. For example, Snapchat’s internal team will review every ad before it goes live. But Snapchat’s also exploring other ways to make its upcoming in-stream ads more palatable.
Snapchat is asking advertisers to produce shorter versions of their ads to run between stories, according to two agency execs. One of the execs said that Snapchat is trying to cut the video ad lengths from its standard 10 seconds to roughly six seconds, though both execs said the eventual lengths are still being worked out. A Snapchat spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
The shorter lengths could increase the likelihood that people will sit through a brand’s entire ad, or at least reduce the likelihood that they won’t swipe past it in order to get to the next story. But there’s expected to be some pushback from advertisers who already have had to adjust to Snapchat’s 10-second video ad format, per the agency execs.
Snapchat is also officially rolling out new add-ons to its ads that aim to get people to spend more time with an ad. Those add-ons — which Snapchat has been testing since the start of the year and appear when people swipe up from a video ad — include longer versions of a brand’s video, a mobile webpage, a branded article and a gateway to download an app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play.
To help brands produce Snap Ads — whether they’re 10 seconds or shorter, and with or without add-ons — Snapchat has come up with a list of creative agencies that it recommends brands work with. Those sanctioned shops are: Allday Everyday, Big Spaceship, Contented, Matte-Finish, Media Monks, Moment Studio, R29 Brand Lab, Studio Number One, Stun Creative, The 88, The Mill, Truffle Pig (which Snapchat co-owns), Unit 9, VaynerMedia and Vice Media’s Virtue.
Snapchat has similarly organized a group of approved companies that will be able to plug into its Ads API so that brands can buy ads programmatically through those companies’ ad-buying tools, which brands may already be using to buy video ads on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Those approved ad-buying companies are: 4C, Adaptly, Amobee, Brand Networks, SocialCode, TubeMogul, Unified and VaynerMedia.