Snapchat has been all over the news lately thanks to their hugely successful IPO. This coverage is undoubtedly attracting a lot of new advertisers to the platform, but they might be surprised to see where their ads are showing up.
Snapchat really got its start as a place where young people could engage in sexting activities and other ‘mature’ things. While the app is now used for many other things, there are still many porn stars and perverts that use it on a regular basis.
Since the algorithms match up the ads with the user and not necessarily with the content that is most recently displayed, the results can be very questionable. There are reports of users getting advertisements for Denny’s restaurant while viewing pornographic snaps.
Most companies try to avoid having ads viewed on these types of pages due to the potentially negative feedback or associations that will come with it.
There is a ‘brand safe’ option available from Shapchat so companies won’t be matched up with the publicly available pornographic chats, however, that still leaves them open to being displayed after a chat that occurs on a personal video under Stories, which is a private area with no real restrictions.
While there are some efforts being made to do a better job at regulating the content on Snapchat, and making sure that ads aren’t shown where they aren’t wanted, the reality is there is currently no effective way to ensure your ads aren’t being matched up with porn. For some companies this isn’t going to be a huge deal. For others, it will mean avoiding Snapchat for advertising, at least for now.