When Snapchat, the ephemeral photo & video sharing mobile app, launched its new Discover feature earlier this year, it was met with mixed reviews from both its audience and publishing professionals. For most of its millennial users, Snapchat has been a way to share moments and stories with friends. Snapchat is social media. Discover is different.
Snapchat stays true to its core value with Discover: to promote storytelling. But these stories are told by the publishers featured on the app, rather than its users. The press release, specifically points out this difference stating, “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.”
Snapchat Discover allows publishers a new channel for distributing the content they want, in the way they want. Familiar names including CNN, Cosmopolitan, and ESPN have partnered with Snapchat for the launch of Discover. By adopting this new mobile strategy, publishers on the app aim to grow mobile audience reach and increase mobile ad inventory.
The noteworthy move by top publishers to distribute content via Snapchat raises a few important items to consider. These points should be at the forefront of publisher’s minds while developing distribution strategies this year.
Three Key Takeaways…
1. Reemphasis on distributing content over social media
When established publications like Yahoo!, National Geographic, and People opt to invest in a new distribution channel, it’s something to take note of. These partnerships with Snapchat further underline the need to maintain a strong social media presence to stay relevant in the changing media landscape. Seeing that 30% of the population reports using Facebook as their daily news source, you better be sure to think about your likes, followers, and friends.
2. Utilizing video content
Not only have consumers’ primary channels for news discovery shifted, the type of content they prefer is also evolving. Journalists reported that for 2015, they will focus on utilizing video/images, brevity, and human voice to make their stories more shareable. Vice, National Geographic, Warner Music Group, Yahoo! and ESPN are already using video content on Snapchat Discover. These savvy publishers are well aware that their audiences crave video content. Cisco reported that mobile video traffic will increase 13-fold between 2014 and 2019. The time is now to gear up video content creation.
3. Optimizing content to engage on social platforms & mobile devices
All content is not created equal…or at least it shouldn’t be. Each of the 11 publishers on Snapchat Discover have realized this. Compare their content on the platform to their native website, or even mobile app. It’s evident that they’ve optimized the content to successfully deliver the story on Discover’s unique layout. Journalists also recognize the need to adapt content, with more than 75 percent feeling pressure to “think about their story’s potential to get shared on social platforms.” The process of optimizing content for multiple devices and social media channels can be challenging and time consuming, but with the right tools it’s well worth engaging your audience on core social media channels
Implementing these key takeaways will allow publishers to increase viewership and create more opportunities for ad revenue, just as the publishers on Snapchat Discover have. Snapchat Discover is shaking things up in the publishing world. How will you respond?