March 31, 2015

The Snapchat Evolution: From Selfies To Substantial News


Photo: Snapchat by flickr user AdamPrzezdziek via Attribution 2.0 License

In the last few months, Snapchat has rolled out its updated app to include the “Discover” button located in the right hand corner. What used to be solely a selfie app now has the capabilities to share short news, video and photo snippets from some of the top brands.

Every 24 hours brands like ESPN, People, CNN and Cosmopolitan, submit Discover stories which range from current news updates, listicles, how-to videos and fast facts. All stories are short and condensed from their webpages with the occasional unique story. Because repackaging the content for Snapchat is so labor-intensive and specific, many brands are utilizing or hiring small teams who are dedicated to creating Snapchat Discover content.

There are no links on the Discover portal, which means it isn’t creating any referral traffic to these sites. As Fusion describes it, “It’s best to think of Discover as a brand-building tool, rather than a distribution engine.” Although Discover isn’t creating web traffic for brands, it is a strong tool for creating brand awareness and a customer following.

In my own personal experience, I have become enamored with the Discover portal, and look forward to tapping through each an every story as I commute home from work each day. It has a similar draw as Pinterest, however it’s more structured and compartmentalized for each brand. Compared to other constantly updated social media apps however, daily story updates don’t necessarily qualify as “current events.” It will be interesting to see how Snapchat expands the Discover capabilities if it chooses to do so. Fingers crossed.