Snapchat partners with media companies for Discover

Steven Loeb · January 27, 2015 · Short URL:

Discover features content on 11 channels from ESPN, Comedy Central, People and CNN, among others

With all of its success, there always seemed to be un undercurrent of trepidation over how exactly Snapchat was going to make money. Sure, the idea of self-destructing messaging obviously stuck a chord with people, especially in the age of giving up so much information and privacy, but monetization seemed like it would be difficult at best.

Well, those fears were finally put to rest last year, with the launch of a payments feature, as well as Snapchat's first ads. And now Snapchat is taking those monetization plans a step further, actually entering into partnerships with various media companies and giving them a feature that will allow them to connect directly with the Snapchat audience.

The Discover feature, revealed on Tuesday after months of speculation, is made up of 11 unique channels: one for each media partner, plus a Snapchat channel. Those channels include ESPN, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, Food Network, National Geographic, People, Yahoo News, CNN, Vice and Warner Music. Each one will feature photos, videos and other long form content.

To access Discover, users need to swipe to the left from Stories. They can then tap on a channel and swipe left to flip through a daily edition. Daily editions include between five and 10 Stories hand-curatedby the editorial team at each company.

A top Snap, or a 10 second teaser for the story, headlines each story. Users then swipe up for the long-form piece of content. When an edition is completed, the channel colors invert. When new content is available, the logo returns to full color. Every edition is refreshed with new content after 24 hours.

What the new feature basically sounds like is a more professional version of Snapchat's Stories feature, where users are able to post videos and photos that can be viewed for a full 24 hours before they are deleted. 

"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," the company wrote in its blog post.

"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."

With Discover, Snapchat is wisely taking advantage of its rapid growth, using it appeal to media companies eager to engage with its young audience. In August Snapchat was said to have100 million active users; now many reports put that number closer to 200 million. 

The feature will also help the company generate even more revenue. VatorNews reached out to Snapchat for information about how the company would make money off Discover; while the company did not respond to that request a report from Digiday says that Snapchat is putting the onus on the media companies to find advertisers for the feature.

"Snapchat is also urging these media companies to seek brands that want to advertise against the media they will distribute on Discover, with Snapchat retaining a portion of the revenue," it says.

Discover will add to the revenue streams started by Snapchat in 2014. The company teamed up with Square, allowing users to send money to each other through its text feature. Snapchat also launched its first ads in October, putting them in the Recent Updates section and allowing users to not have to look at them if they don't want to. Either way, they disappear after 24 hours.

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