By the end of this year, Snapchat is set to overtake both Twitter and Pinterest in terms of monthly active users. In response to its rapidly growing size, the video sharing company has announced that it will open its platform to third party advertisers and ad-tech companies.

man taking a picture of a stray dog

Snapchat has reconfigured the way users access stories by inter-splicing an individual users’ list of stories with promoted channels. For now, Snapchat will allow only a select number of third party advertisers promote themselves on its app, but the number is expected to grow if this trial run is successful.

The attention Snapchat is paying to ads is important because the company’s video-based nature allows for a more finely tuned range of advertisement than a site like Facebook would. And, since Snapchat is a young company, and willing to take more risks, it offers brands the ability to experiment and make money on other platforms than Facebook.

As Snapchat has started to catch up to Facebook, the established social media giant has adapted, first by offering Facebook Live and then by adding doodle and filter features on its photo-sharing options similar to those of Snapchat.

Facebook, however, does not have Snapchat’s edge. Snapchat does not run the risk of alienating advertisers with changed ad priorities because it is relatively new. Facebook cannot afford the same amount of flexibility.

Snapchat has become social media’s new standard bearer, and it is steering us in a more video-centric direction.