Snapchat tests mid-roll ads in Stories from Snap Stars

The company will share revenue from those advertisements with creators.


Snapchat is introducing a new way for some of its most popular users to earn money. Starting today, you’ll begin seeing mid-roll ads in public Stories from Snap Stars. Those are individuals with verified accounts that have a large number of followers.

In introducing mid-roll ads, Snap has also decided to share ad revenue with creators, marking a first for the company. How much someone will earn off their Stories will depend on a formula that considers factors like how often someone posts and the engagement their content attracts. Snap is testing the advertisements with help from a small group of Snap Stars in the US. The company currently plans to roll them out more widely sometime later in the year.

“Stories lower the barrier to content creation and engagement, and we believe placing ads within a Snap Star’s public Story will allow an easier path to financial success,” the company said.

Unintuitively, the introduction of mid-roll ads to some Stories follows a period in which Snap saw a dip in the format's popularity. “We are seeing people post fewer Stories to their friends, [and] view fewer Stories from their friends,” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said during the company’s recent fourth-quarter earnings calls. “But at the same time, we've seen folks watching more premium content, watching more content in Spotlight.”

Spotlight is Snapchat’s take on TikTok-like short-form videos. The company has invested significantly in the format, including announcing a commitment to spend $1 million per day to fund creators supporting the platform. Snap’s decision to share ad revenue generated by Stories shows the company is just as serious about ensuring they continue to grow.