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Snapchat’s Discover: Daily Mini-Magazines from CNN, Cosmopolitan & More

Snapchat yesterday released ‘Discover’, a big new feature that sees Snapchat partner with news and entertainment brands such as CNN, National Geographic, MTV and Cosmopolitan to produce and publish content for the Snapchat app. The easiest way to explain the content is to try it out yourself, or watch the video below (which shows the CNN and National Geographic packages from January 27). But essentially, each partner will publish new content every 24 hours and that content can include video, articles, pictures, and other editorial content.

It’s important to realise that Snapchat Discover is more than just the existing Snapchat Stories feature, which allows anyone to take photos/videos and share them with their followers. Discover is really on a different level to that, with the packages put together by the media partners resembling something closer to a small digital magazine. It’ll also be a way for Snapchat to make money, with the content including advertising. In describing the new feature on their blog, the Snapchat team explained:

Snapchat Discover is a new way to explore Stories from different editorial teams. It’s the result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first. This is not social media.

Social media companies tell us what to read based on what’s most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important.

It’s too early to tell if Snapchat Discover is for me. The implementation is very slick but I’m not sure if the current publishers offer enough content that I’m interested in. But amongst the core Snapchat demographic it’s easy to see how the current partners will offer something interesting to most of them and because of that I’m fairly confident that this will be a succesful venture for Snapchat.

Snapchat the Media Company

It’s weird to think of it this way, but Snapchat is increasingly becoming more of a media and publishing company first and social network second. They’ve had Our Story for a while and now they have Discover. Both are two big operations that regularly publish content to millions and millions of consumers. But more than that, Snapchat has been able to convince some of the world’s biggest news and entertainment brands that they should publish a daily mini-magazine to Snapchat’s platform exclusively. Impressive and utterly fascinating.

If you missed it before, and are interested in reading more about Snapchat, I previously wrote an article about Snapchat’s Our Story feature here.

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