Today Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel joins the grand tradition of tech CEOs who trashed talked ads in ways they later came to regret. In a blog post announcing new ads for American users, the company said it wants to harken back to the days before ads "got creepy and targeted."
You know, like the golden age of brands trying to sell you stuff, when advertisements were authentic works of art. Snapchat is just not the type of company to violate your personal communication because that's "totally rude."
The best advertisements tell you more about stuff that actually interests you. Some companies spend a lot of time and collect a lot of data about you to figure that out. The product we're releasing today is a lot simpler. An advertisement will appear in your Recent Updates from time to time, and you can choose if you want to watch it. No biggie. It goes away after you view it or within 24 hours, just like Stories.
We won't put advertisements in your personal communication – things like Snaps or Chats. That would be totally rude. We want to see if we can deliver an experience that's fun and informative, the way ads used to be, before they got creepy and targeted. It's nice when all of the brilliant creative minds out there get our attention with terrific content.
But I do have it to give it up to Snapchat's explanation of why these new ads will appear in your app. The company has already raised $163 million, and is rumored to be raising more in a deal that will value the company at $10 billion. But that value is only in the minds of its venture capitalists, thus the ads are there because: "We need to make money."
Understandably, a lot of folks want to know why we're introducing advertisements to our service. The answer is probably unsurprising – we need to make money. Advertising allows us to support our service while delivering neat content to Snapchatters. We promise that we'll use the money we make to continue to surprise the Snapchat community with more terrific products – that's what we love to do!
The bar for real talk in the tech industry is so low that Spiegel admitting he needs to make money pre-IPO or exit now makes him one of the more honest executives.
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[Image via Getty]