Snapchat is testing out a new way for creatives to earn money, by inserting mid-roll ads in user Stories.

The system is starting to roll out with a select group of creators (Snap Stars), with wider rollout said to be coming in the next few months. The ad revenue will be shared with the platform and the creator, and the feature will only be available to Snap Stars (with a large following, verified by the platform).

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Snapchat hasn't made it clear how the revenue will be split, instead saying it'll be based on a formula that considers content engagement and posting frequency. 

Ugh, mid-roll ads are the worst, but they're the strongest format when it comes to making money from completion rate. In 2022 with everyone enabling ad-blockers and looking at the internet on their phones, there's no room or tolerance for display advertising on the internet. Snapchat's terms and conditions don't allow creatives to run sponsored content on the platform, although publishers are allowed to run branded partnership content, and brands can purchase sponsored filters. We currently see ads in between our friends' stories and in the Discover section, but mid-roll during a Snap Star's story is a first for the platform, alongside the sharing of revenue.

Our apathy towards display advertising really means that the only way we'll ever watch an advert is if it's forced upon us in the middle of the content we've chosen to consume. While this might be tolerable for TV shows (someone always needs a bathroom break when the ad comes on), with social media content it's a whole different ball game. It can negatively affect platform engagement if the ads are low quality, unengaging or promoting an irrelevant product or service. 

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It's not clear whether the creatives will be collaborating with Snapchat to select the advertisers, but it's essential that the platform works with high quality, creative advertising providers, or users will turn off. If you've become used to watching the content of one of your favorite Snap creators, and then suddenly it's interrupted with 15-30 seconds of advertising, you're going to eventually stop watching that content. 15 seconds on the internet is 19 years in human time (not officially confirmed), and mid-roll ads need to be watched to completion, rather than scrolled through.

Snapchat has always been forthcoming about its airtight user privacy, choosing to not collect as much personal data as say, Instagram does, and generally presenting itself as a safe, non-snooping platform on which to watch your Shows and to message your pals. However, Instagram's data-mining does result in some very accurately targeted advertising, and the platform says 130million accounts tap on shopping posts each month

Looking forward to seeing the new formats and creative collaborations that come out of this functionality, and of course, looking forward to seeing creatives get paid.

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