Snapchat has 100 million users who watch an astonishing two billion videos per day, according to founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, who shared the latest figures with Bloomberg in an article published this week. That’s half the volume of videos viewed on Facebook, even though the latter is bigger by an order of magnitude. Even more impressive, Snapchat claims that 60% of smartphone users aged 13 to 34 are active on the service.
The media-shy 24-year-old tech titan also revealed that he has no plans to begin inserting ads in the personal messages users send to each other, deeming this approach too intrusive. So how exactly will Snapchat, currently valued at around $15 billion, like, make money? Spiegel was cagy as ever about monetization, according to Bloomberg, but did say he sees potential for video ads inserted in the “stories” created by Snapchat, rounding up the events of the last day in a particular location -- for example, a city or college campus (though everything vanishes after 24 hours).
Snapchat will also expand its ad offerings in the “Discover” feature, which highlights content created by big media partners like CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, and People magazine. Last but not least, Bloomberg speculates Snapchat will probably ramp up offerings in games, e-commerce, and other forms of media like movies.
Spiegel definitely comes across as an iconoclast that’s not afraid to defy conventional wisdom when it comes to content and advertising. Most notably, he claims to be unimpressed by behavioral data and dislikes behaviorally targeted ads, noting, “It’s definitely weird when a vacuum follows you around the Internet.”
The same goes for content curation, according to Spiegel, who tells Bloomberg: “There’s a sort of weird obsession with the idea that data can solve anything,” adding, “I really haven’t seen data deliver the results that I’ve seen a great editor deliver.” And some of these content creators are scoring big with Snapchat’s Discover feature. For example Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, revealed that the magazine’s channel is getting two million views a day.
Snapchat’s early ad pricing was apparently too ambitious. CPMs have declined from the earlier high rate of $100 to around $20 currently.