According to the The Wall Street Journal, Snapchat is poised to introduce Snapchat Discovery in November, which will allow publishers to serve up ads, video clips and other content. When it comes to fruition, it will likely be the increasingly popular mobile app's first monetization move.
The premise of Snapchat is that photos and messages are displayed for a short period of time (typically 10 seconds or less) before disappearing. Users would interact with the ad content in the same way as with messages and images, the Journal article said.
This new service is expected to increase the perceived worth of the app, which was valued at approximately $10 billion during investment talks with Alibaba Group in June. According to comScore, the number of Snapchat users has increased by more than 50 percent since last year (27 million users in June, up from 11 million at the same time in 2013).
This initiative comes on the heels of scores of brands jumping on Snapchat’s platform. For instance, Groupon has gained more than 700 new followers every day on the mobile app by pushing offers and giveaways. AT&T, Wendy’s, General Electric and Sour Patch Kids are additional marketers that have leveraged the mobile app for their promotional strategies. And InStyle has also been using the channel to target a new demographic, posting teasers for its upcoming September cover on Snapchat.
Meanwhile, it's possible that Snapchat could debut in-app purchases before its ads go live. The company as far back as November 2013 has indicated that it plans to offer such a feature as it looks to monetize its platform.