Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Snapchat's first ever advert for Ouija horror flick scares users - but that's better than being 'creepy'

The company has criticized other sites for selling "creepy and targeted" advertising - and decided to go for simply scary instead

James Vincent
Monday 20 October 2014 14:06 BST

Snapchat has been scaring users with its first ever in-app advert: a 20 second trailer for upcoming horror flick Ouija.

The company announced last week that they would be sending out the advert to the US portion of their estimated 100 million global users, placing the video in the “Recent Updates” section (meaning that users wouldn’t get notified about the ad as if they’d received a message from a friend).

“Some companies spend a lot of time and collect a lot of data about you to figure that out. The product we’re releasing today is a lot simpler,” said the company in a blog post. “An advertisement will appear […] and you can choose if you want to watch it. No biggie. It goes away after you view it or within 24 hours, just like Stories.”

The Snapchat community certainly reacted in surprise however, with more than a few taking to Twitter to voice surprise (or, you know, plain confusion) to the ad.

AdAge reports that the video was specially edited so that it looked like a Snapchat Story – the app’s most recent feature which allows users to compile multiple images and videos into rolling movies covering their day (imagine a little multimedia slideshow version of Facebook’s News Feed).

It’s a small step for Snapchat (and a relatively safe one – people are mostly happy to watch movie trailers) but with a $10 billion valuation hanging over the company, the app’s managers need to be careful not to scare off their young and lucrative userbase. They’ve put up with one horror story – but how will they react if the ads start coming in every day?

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in