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Snapchat Starts Ads

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    In this Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel poses for photos, in Los Angeles. Spiegel dropped out of Stanford University in 2012, three classes shy of graduation, to move back to his father's house and work on Snapchat. Spiegel�s fast-growing mobile app lets users send photos, videos and messages that disappear a few seconds after they are received (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Three years of ad-free enjoyment is probably the most you can hope for in a photo-sharing app, right?  And that's exactly the amount of time Snapchat has waited to unveil its first ad -- a short commercial for the horror film "Ouija"

    After millions of investment, the startup is going to monetize by creating ads that disappear after users read them, according to a company blog post.

    We won’t put advertisements in your personal communication – things like Snaps or Chats. That would be totally rude. . . . Understandably, a lot of folks want to know why we’re introducing advertisements to our service. The answer is probably unsurprising – we need to make money. 
    Users get to choose if they want to watch it by looking at it in Recent Updates or the notification will disappear in 24 hours. The disappearing is key to Snapchat, which was new in the photo-sharing field by allowing messages and photos to last only seconds before disappearing (of course, they aren't really gone for good, as all those leaked Snapchat photos tell you.)
    Still, Snapchat needs to make money. Once a super-hot startup, its business model needs to show the business can be solvent or risk becoming absorbed by a bigger tech company. Surely its founders turned down Facebook's $3 billion offer because they had a plan to do this, right?