Snapchat is a bit of an enigma. The mobile messaging app is valued at $10 billion, despite having generated approximately $0 in revenue. But that’s about to change. CEO Evan Spiegel announced this week that people would be seeing paid ads on Snapchat very soon.

How advertising will work on this platform has been a source of much speculation. The app doesn’t collect much data at all from its users; so targeted ads aren’t really an option, and ads that would interrupt the normal flow of messaging would probably irritate and drive away the young user base. Their solution: advertising that is opt-in, native, and contextual. Snapchat already has a feature called “My Story”, which essentially allows anyone to create and view public collections of photos and videos captured at the same live event. It’s in this public, shared space that the ads will live.

It’s a cool space to play in, but brands will have to step up their content creation if they want to fit in. Snapchat has a lot of eyes on it, but they are generally unimpressed eyes, and they are moving fast. Those factors, combined with a distinct lack of any kind of analytics data to back it up, not to mention the recent Snappening, make it a bit risky. But I’m sure many advertisers will jump right in.


Meanwhile, another tech giant is making a distinctly more analogue move. Amazon, the online retailer, has plans to build a real-life, brick-and-mortar store in Manhattan, allegedly sometime around the approaching holiday season. The plan is to give New Yorkers a location to pick up their online orders, as well as a distribution center for couriers to facilitate one-day deliveries. In the future, however, the store may also feature Amazon branded devices like the Kindle and the Fire line of smartphones.

As same day delivery of your online purchases becomes more and more realistic, the wait in line for your morning coffee will begin to feel agonizingly long. Enter Square Order. The mobile payments company has just released a new app that utilizes location tracking to make sure your drink is ready and waiting for you when you arrive at the café of your choice. As you approach, it prompts to make a drink selection and then alerts the barista to start making it. You pay for the drink through Square as soon as you order. When you arrive, just grab the coffee and go!