Snapchat’s Latest Privacy Update Allows Targeted Advertising

Snapchat’s Latest Privacy Update Allows Targeted Advertising

Underneath major product announcements at Snapchat revealed the platform has made changes to its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, users who update to Chat 2.0 give permission for Snapchat to target them with customised ads.

Under the subsection ‘How We Use Information’, Snapchat added the two words “including ads” to a clause about how it uses customer information. The section now reads: “What do we do with the information we collect? The short answer is: Provide you with an amazing set of products and services that we relentlessly improve. But we do a lot more as well, such as:

  • develop, operate, improve, deliver, maintain, and protect our products and services
  • communicate with you
  • monitor and analyze trends and usage
  • personalize the services by, among other things, suggesting friends or profile information, or customizing the content we show you, including ads
  • enhance the safety and security of our products and services
  • verify your identity and prevent fraud or other unauthorized or illegal activity
  • use information we’ve collected from cookies and other technology to enhance the services and your experience with them
  • enforce our Terms of Service and other usage polices”

In a separate page outlining its services, the company addressed the tricky balance between targeting and invading privacy: “We don’t want to serve ads that are so custom-tailored that they feel invasive or uncomfortable. It’s a difficult balance and we may not always get it right, so we are counting on Snapchatters for feedback”.

At last year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said he thinks targeted advertising can come off as too creepy and Snapchat users expect some anonymity within the app. “We’ll make targeting available—just not bad targeting,” Spiegel said.

The inclusion of customised ads was overshadowed yesterday by major feature updates, “Chat 2.0”, including:

  • Auto-advance stories. When you finish a Story, the next one begins automatically — simply swipe to skip ahead, or pull down to exit!
  • Over 200 Stickers are now available in private chat.
  • Video Notes in Chat let you record and send a quick 10-second GIF-like loop.
  • Audio Notes allows you to send short voice snippets
  • Video and Audio Calls can now be initiated even if the recipient isn’t already chatting with you, turning Snapchat into more of a phone.
  • Toggle Chat 2.0 lets conversation partners move between all these features Video and Audio Calls, Video and Audio notes, stickers, and text.


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