Today Snapchat introduced another feature on the super fast-growing app. I mean approaching-200 million-monthly-active-users-fast. In May of last year, Snapchat estimated 700 million snaps and 500 million stories being snapped daily.
Meet “Discover,” which is pretty much stories from several news and entertainment outlets (ESPN, National Geographic, Vice, Cosmo, Comedy Central, the Food Network, MTV, People, Yahoo News, the Daily Mail and CNN). The stories last 24 hours, like regular ones, but have room for more context than normal snaps — the option to “swipe up on a snap for more.”
In their introduction of Discover, Snapchat distinguishes itself from social media, saying they focus on the creator and content of the snap rather than what is clicked most often or posted most recently (with the exception of within the last 24 hours I guess).
This is huge. Snapchat is adapting and showing that it’s here to stay — at least for a while. It’s not just a messaging app although it still feels personal and private (and something we can post to without our parents seeing). It gives perspectives to events — sports games, competitions, national holidays, wherever you wish you were — that you can’t get anywhere else. With Snapchat you are an insider and a contributor.
And with Discover, Snapchat is gaining legitimacy and delivering news in a way I think we need and will want once it’s there. Plus, it’s search engine/Facebook algorithm free. We see what they post. In the order they post it. This is different and matters. CNN’s head of social news Samantha Barry says she thinks this might be a huge step in finding how to reach millennials, hard news and all. I think she’s right.