The day of the unskippable Snap ad has come. AdAge was first tipped off to the new kind of Snapchat ad a few weeks ago, but this follow up article shows that users are encountering them within the channels in the Discover section. Previously you could skip through an ad by tapping on the screen; now people have to agonize through the entire six second spot.
By running its first non-skip ads within Discover, Snap is being cautious. It’s the less viewed part of the app, compared to user Stories, and it’s less likely to cause an uproar among users. Snap can probably justify this in the short term by telling people that these ads are higher cost for brands, so Snap could reduce the overall number of ads on a channel. But the long term game here is where it gets complicated. If brands like them, they’ll demand them in other parts of the app. If users rebel, Snap will be stuck.
By opening up the door to unskippable ads, Snap has changed the conversation with marketers. It better hope users like it.