Getting your news on Snapchat

Snapchat Logo
Courtesy of Snapchat

By Sydney Cromwell

College students know Snapchat as the app they use to send photos to friends, knowing those

photos will disappear within 10 seconds. However, the Snapchat ghost mascot is expanding into the news

world.

In January, Snapchat debuted the “Discover” feature, providing news content as part of users’

app experience in addition to its own original content. News outlets are partnering with the

app in a bid to reach teen and young adult audiences who might rarely find cause to pick up a

traditional newspaper.

Instead of calling this new demographic to their own sites and apps, these media are meeting

their audience where they already spend their time. According to Tech Crunch, Snapchat was the

third most popular social media app in 2014. The app’s makers said 700 million snaps were sent

every day in 2014.

Here’s how Discover works: Partner media outlets post stories specifically formatted for

Snapchat’s style, such as a short video or picture. If a user is intrigued, he or she can swipe

upward to read or watch the full story. If not, the user can keep scrolling. After 24 hours, the

story disappears.

Current partners with Snapchat include the Washington Post, Comedy Central, Vice News,

CNN, Food Network, ESPN, People magazine and National Geographic.

Potential problems with the Discover feature include the currently limited number of partners

and the possibility that the platform will encourage shorter, “fluffy” articles in place of hard

news. However, it could eventually become central to reaching a millennial audience.

To try out Discover, download Snapchat from the Apple App Store or Google Play.