Snapchat Figures Out It’s Time To Make Money, Ads Coming To Your Recent Updates Stream

A million dollars isn't cool, do you know what's cool? A billion dollars. Or so we were told by Justin Timberlake's portrayal of Sean Parker in the movie The Social Network, a docu-drama about Facebook. Ironically enough, Facebook reportedly offered $1 billion to acquire Snapchat, and then $3 billion after its initial bid was rebuked. It was pretty gutsy of Snapchat to turn down both offers without having any real revenue stream to speak of, along with a $4 billion offer from Google, though the lack of revenue is about to change with the introduction of ads.

Beginning this weekend, Snapchat will place an advertisement in "Recent Updates" for users who live in the U.S. In an effort to make sure the ads are as unobtrusive as possible, Snapchat says it won't ever put ads in your personal communication, such as Snaps or Chats. Doing so would be "totally rude," the company said in a blog post after finding its hipster vibe.

"It's the first time we're done anything like this because it's the first time we've been paid to put content in that space," Snapchat explained. "It's going to feel a little weird at first, but we're taking the plunge."

Image Source: Flickr (Maurizio Pesce)

Snapchat's ultimate goal -- other than to generate lots of cash -- is to see if it can deliver an ad experience that's "fun and informative" like they supposedly used to be, as opposed to "creepy and targeted" like they are now. As to why the service is bothering with ads at all, it isn't rocket science.

"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," Snapchat said. "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!"

Snapchat boss Evan Spiegel gave the heads up earlier this month that ads were coming, though that was before hundreds of thousands of Snapchat photos were hacked and leaked to the web. According to Snapchat, that incident was the fault of third-party apps.