Today at Disrupt SF, Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel hinted at the company’s monetization moves. “The way that we think about monetization has changed substantially,” Spiegel said. Most of the conversation was around native advertising instead of in-app purchases. Yet, the ephemeral photo messaging application is one of the only social app that doesn’t have a feed. Many social startups put native ads within a feed of some sort.
“The feed was probably the biggest innovation in social media of late,” Spiegel said. “But the interesting thing about a feed is that the more content you consume, the farther in time you go,” he continued.
Snapchat users could expect potential product updates with a new feed. For the company, it could unleash a world of possibilities for advertising. When asked directly about monetization and the experiments around the feed, Spiegel said that Chinese company Tencent was a role model.
Then, the conversation moved to other topics, including Snapchat’s $60 million round. When asked whether the company will generate revenue before the next funding round, his answer was “it’s hard to say but I hope so.”
Back in June, Spiegel said that the first step toward monetizing the service was to provide in-app purchases to unlock new customization features. Yet, after today’s interview, the company seems to be going into another direction: native advertising. It was Snapchat’s original monetization idea.
“In the future, we’d like to support upcoming artists, people that are trying to be actors,” Spiegel said. “The social marketing teams of big companies will always figure out a way to advertise on Snapchat. I’d like to create a space for people who have a lot of talent but not a lot of reach,” he continued.
Since May, Taco Bell has been running an experiment. It sends advertising snaps to its Snapchat friends. It’s an example of the way big brands are already using Snapchat without the help of the company.