Snapchat CEO says ads are coming

Ads are coming to Snapchat, the company's chief executive has confirmed, with users able to opt in to view the messages on the app's Stories feature.

Snapchat: ads are coming to the photo-messaging app
Snapchat: ads are coming to the photo-messaging app

Evan Spiegel told delegates at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit that "people are going to see the first ads on Snapchat soon", adding that they would be "pretty cool".

Snapchat does not collect as much user data as the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and Spiegel insisted that ads would accordingly not be targeted to demographic groups. Instead they might be themed around Stories content.

However, he admitted that there were challenges for brands to create compelling ads suited to the nature of the app.

Spiegel said that ads would become part of Snapchat’s Stories, where users could view them or choose to ignore them. Unlike Snapchat’s core service – time-restricted photo messaging that deletes messages a few seconds after they are sent – Stories content remains live for up to 24 hours.

"We are cutting through a lot of the new technology stuff around ads to the core of it: telling a story that leaves people with a new feeling," said Spiegel.

"They aren’t fancy, they are not targeted."

The news follows reports earlier this week that Yahoo is in talks to invest $20m (£12m) in Snapchat, which would value the app start-up at $10bn (£6bn) – one of the highest valuations in history for a company that so far makes no money.