Snapchat on Monday started showing unskippable ads to users browsing through its library of short shows, with the move marking a major milestone for the company that's been allowing people to skip through sponsored video content ever since it started featuring it in 2014. The new ads are six seconds long and have been most frequently observed attached to shows with high production values, including those from NBCUniversal and Disney. The clips promoted Samsung's Galaxy S9 lineup of Android flagships and several movies such as Deadpool 2, as well as Snapple's latest juice.
The new ads are showing up both ahead of shows and during them, with the feature itself being in development for months now and Snap confirming its arrival in April. The videos are all limited to six seconds and have apparently replaced all skippable ads previously featured as part of the same big-name shows. The old promotional clips are still part of the Snapchat experience, as are sponsored Snaps. It's presently unclear whether the Venice, Los Angeles-based company is rolling out the new format on a global level and how long such a deployment will take if it is. All existing reports about unskippable ads showing up to some users originated solely from the United States.
The move appears to be the latest stop on Snap's quest to somehow break even this year, an ambitious goal that Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel is said to have announced internally this March, shortly after the multimedia messaging service posted a $720 million loss in 2017. The Snapchat maker was $350 million in the red in over the final three months of 2017 yet touted that period as its most successful quarter as a publicly traded company to date due to almost nine million user additions it managed to generate. The firm has been cutting costs in recent months and laid off hundreds of employees but continues its diversification push, most notably through its hardware ambitions which recently resulted in a new version of the camera-equipped Spectacles.