Snapchat, one of the few emerging apps that hasn't been bought by the likes of Google or Facebook, has become a pretty big social phenomenon. Anyone who's anyone between the age of 16 – 25 is probably pretty active on Snapchat, well, the people that enjoy ephemeral photos and pictures that is. Regardless of how you feel about Snapchat, they have become a force to be reckoned with. Refusing Facebook's money bags when they came knocking, the company has stood on their own two feet – with the usual help from investors of course – and has become an app that's like second-nature to a lot of younger users. Now, it looks like they want to spend 2016 moving into the ad technology space. This could be a big deal throughout the technology space.
If you were to take a look at Google's earning reports, the vast majority of the Internet giant's money still comes from ads. Not from selling Nexus devices, not from selling apps and games in the Play Store, but by running ads for thousands of companies all over the world. We've seen Vine be leveraged for advertizing through the use of "Sponsored Vines" and if Snapchat start offering a technology to leverage their network and the millions of eyeballs they have using the app every minute it could be am ambitious move.
According to a report by Business Insider, that one source close to Snapchat describes as "not 100% right, but not 100% wrong" the company is looking to either build or acquire technology to build an ad platform, similar to the way that Facebook and Google do. Snapchat could be looking to create an API of sorts, which would make it pretty easy for potential partners to use Snapchat as an advertizer and help the network sell more ads than it can do right now. Monetizing a network like Snapchat is something of a no-brainer, but how the company does it will be the key. The industry will definitely be happy to see Snapchat enter the ring, and while Google and Facebook might not be, there will be companies looking to use Snapchat to advertize. The problem however, is that as this audience is a younger one, they might not take kindly to such a move, and Snapchat could risk reducing the amount of eyeballs that people want to reach in the first place.