Snapchat’s changes to Stories may affect advertisers

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Snapchat has made some changes to its Stories once again. It now features Stories further up in the app and above Discover, as part of a reshuffle to help users see more of what their friends and families are up to.

In addition, the company has removed the Auto Advance feature across select Android phones. Auto Advance does just that – when a user views a Story, they are then automatically advanced onto the next. The update is supposed to make it easier for app users to only view the Stories they are truly interested in.

The new Snapchat Stories design

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Source: snapchat.com

In addition, the company will be rolling out a Stories Playlist which is a more personalised version of Auto Advance and can be optional.

Brands and advertisers may have been quick to worry that the update could implicate their ads which play in between such auto-advancing Stories. However, Snapchat confirmed that ads would still play in between scrolls and also at the end of a story.

The latest Snapchat update could be in response to rival Instagram hitting 100 million users for its own Stories feature to ensure its product remains more user friendly. Then again, Snapchat may be prepping for an IPO in March at a valuation of $25bn or more, which would require the company to showcase some rather elaborate advertising options i.e. revenue streams. Free users alone aren’t enough.

Moving Stories above Discover may feel like abandonment to some of the marketers and publishers that have invested huge sums into building their own channels on Discover. However, Snapchat has been quick to innovate across the app and has previously featured some truly creative advertising options such as branded stickers. It may still have another card up its sleeve before next year.