Sat 18 Oct 2014 05:11:52 AM PDT
Snapchat ads and committing to non-targeting
Recent Snapchat blog, announcing ads:
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.
That's a great idea, and ties in with what I've been saying all along about the targeted ad problem.
But I'm not optimistic. Snapchat is still running on a mobile phone, running within an environment that's either problematic or outright privacy-hostile. If Snapchat can't commit to its core feature, the idea that photos disappear after sending, how can the company credibly commit to less creepy, more valuable advertising?
It would be a huge win for Snapchat if they could pull it off. But I doubt that a single app can do it.
Signalful ads are an emergent benefit from media that tend to build user confidence through tracking resistance. Non-creepiness can't be declared, it has to be discovered.