Snapchat Messaging App Latest to Ban ICO Ads

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The wildly popular messaging app has taken a page out of the books of Facebook and Google and is pushing back against cryptocurrencies.  Snap Inc has banned ICO ads on its messaging app, Snapchat, according to Cheddar. While it’s not a blanket ban on all cryptocurrencies, Snapchat doesn’t appear to give too much warning on its decisions. The ICO ban has been in place since February though it’s just now coming to surface.

Facebook, Google and Snapchat jockey for position in the ad market, so it’s not shocking that they’re all in this together. New’s of Snapchat’s ban comes in the wake of similar measures by both Facebook and Google. Meanwhile, Twitter is reportedly planning a similar response. ICOs remain a loosely governed market across most jurisdictions, though green shoots of regulation are starting to emerge.

Facebook’s ban is on a broader scale, targeting “misleading and deceptive ad practices … including ICOs and cryptocurrencies that currently aren’t operating in good faith.”  They gave the example of an ICO advertisement in which the issuing company boasts a 15% discount to investors who act now.

Google, meanwhile, didn’t hold back and isn’t going anywhere near cryptocurrencies. Theirs is more of a targeted ban across categories, including ICOs, digital wallets, bitcoin exchanges and cryptocurrency-fueled trading advisors. While Google’s ban doesn’t take effect until June 2018, it’s among the harshest. Google’s director of sustainable ads, Scott Spencer, told CNBC –

“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”

Lights, Camera, Snapchat

As for Snapchat, it recently went through a facelift that has bolstered its advertising dollars, as evidenced by nearly a 40% jump in ad revenue during year-end 2017 to USD 281 million. For the year, ad sales advanced almost 75%.

Snapchat recently suffered a setback when it approved an ad on its platform that was in poor taste featuring Rihanna and Chris Brown. Its market cap shed close to USD 1 billion in value on the heels of the ad, which was insensitive to domestic violence.

Facebook has also been reeling from an apparent security breach in which the personal data of its users was misappropriated. Reports suggest advertisers would be pressuring the social media giant, and the company’s total size plummeted by USD 40 billion.

Snapchat couldn’t be reached for comment at time of press.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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POSTED IN: ICO News, News
Gerelyn is a fintech and cryptocurrency journalist who started her career writing about traditional finance/Wall Street. She has been reporting on financial services for the past 15-plus years. In full disclosure, she holds bitcoin (BTC).