Want to skip over that promotional video on Snapchat before getting back to your friends’ Stories? Snapchat is considering an update that would force users to watch ads for three seconds before skipping past.
Sources close to the matter told Ad Age that Snapchat is thinking about moving to this model, which is similar to the skippable “TrueView” format on YouTube, in order to increase the visibility and effectiveness of partner ads.
At present, users can tap their screen to immediately bypass promotional content. While this is a welcomed experience for users seeking to explore content from their friends and preferred creators and publishers, it reduces the amount of time people spend with paid content.
Within this structure, Ad Age reports that viewing times for paid ads on Snapchat “barely reach a second.” For reference, the Media Rating Council (MRC) finds that video ads must be visible for at least two seconds them to be deemed “viewable.”
Though viewability is a critical metric for digital advertisers, Snapchat has always veered toward optimizing the user experience before appeasing ad partners. Increased pressures on the platform following its 2017 IPO and reports that their ad rates have dropped 60 percent over the past year are perhaps causing Snap’s executive team to revise their approach.
Speaking anonymously to Ad Age, a “top advertiser” noted that marketers are simply not as spending as much as they used to with Snapchat. “[Snapchat] has to do something that draws more interest from advertisers, and they are getting more aggressive to address the market’s needs,” stated the source.
One fundamental need, as noted by Mobile Marketer, is to provide more insight into the effectiveness of marketers’ ad buys within Snapchat—especially when it comes to viewability metrics.
Though Snapchat has not confirmed the rumors, it will be interesting to see if the “must view” rule is applied to the upcoming Q1 redesign, which the company teased in late 2017. Of course, Snapchat is not alone in facing these challenges, as all of the major platforms are seeking ways to create compelling, user-friendly experiences that also optimize against advertiser objectives.
Hear from the major social media platforms at SMWNYC, coming to New York April 24-27, 2018. Register for your pass now to secure your spot at our flagship conference.