Snapchat has defined itself in opposition to the internet establishment. It didn’t want to be a digital hangout like Facebook that lured the masses to perform for strangers. Snapchat’s advertisements wouldn’t be “creepy” like other internet ads. Web-video programs from partners such as ESPN wouldn’t be the schlock people saw elsewhere.
Now, though, Snapchat is borrowing liberally from the internet conventions it has scorned. Snapchat is — irony alert — copying Facebook by refashioning its advertising business for companies that want quick payoffs from their ads. It’s tracking people to prove those messages worked. And Snapchat loosened demands for tailor-made video programs, which makes it more like the rest of the web.