After a dismal first earnings report showing losses of $2.2 billion, you could argue that Facebook (and by extension, Instagram) has Snapchat on the ropes.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself conceded that he and his family of apps were, “a little bit late to the trend initially around making cameras the center of how sharing works.”

But as far as Zuckerberg is concerned, that’s all in the past.

“I do think at this point we’re pretty much ahead in terms of the technology that we’re building, and I would expect us to continue leading the way forward on this from this point on.”

Another Slap in the Face for Snap

Just in case Mark Zuckerberg stealing your features and claiming your turf wasn’t bad enough for Los Angeles-based Snap, a new social media study by Fluent has shone some much needed light on Snapchat’s ailing ads platform.

The survey — carried out between April and May 2017 — involved surveying a total of 3,905 social media users.

The results showed Snapchat has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to advertising receptivity, as 62 percent of Snapchat users say they “always” or “often” skip ads on the app. Moreover, only 12 percent said they have ever purchased anything after seeing an ad on Snapchat.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ads on the other hand, aren’t suffering the same way. Fourty-one percent of Facebook users who saw an ad on the platform said they made a purchase, while 30 percent of Instagram users and 41 percent of Twitter users said the same thing.

Learning Opportunities

To make matters worse, the survey revealed that 31 percent of Snapchat users think Snap is just a fad, while only 11 percent of Facebook users think the same of Facebook and 22 percent of Instagram users of Instagram.

Disruption Won’t Come From Interruption

To get to the bottom of this stark contrast in engagement and effectiveness between Snapchat and Facebook ads in particular, CMSWire spoke to Mike Wright, the deputy head of Social Media at the Daily Mirror. He feels that in order to disrupt the advertising market, Snapchat needs to serve ads that complement the experience, rather than interrupting it.

“I am not surprised to hear Facebook has better engagement on its ads compared to Snapchat as it has created a less invasive and more seamless experience in that respect,” Wright said.

“Snapchat ads tend to be shoehorned into the experience and [thus become] disruptive to the experience. They are just bolted on to the end of a story.”

The only problem is, Snapchat’s unique user experience — which is what makes it so popular — means that interruption is the only obvious way to serve an ad. To hurdle this emerging issue, Snap may need to show yet more innovation by reinventing the advertising wheel.

Despite Snapchat’s vulnerable position, younger millennials still believe in the app’s future. Forty-eight percent of millennials in the 18 to 24 age range said they used Snapchat in the past month, while only nine percent described it as a fad — while 22 percent and 21 percent of the same group branded Facebook and Instagram respectively as fads.

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