Snapchat’s newest feature, Discover, is here, and it’s poised to change how millennials consume media. At least, that’s the goal.
Discover is essentially a partnership between Snapchat and media companies who have the opportunity to release curated content every 24 hours. There’s a unique interface to showcase the different media channels, and you use simple swipes to access each one. Within the channels lives editor-selected content from that media company. In short, Snapchat is entering the digital media space.
“This is not social media,” the Snapchat team writes in the announcement of Discover, asserting that while social media suggests content based on popularity, Snapchat is going to have the editors of the content decide what is worth looking at. For writers, that’s a dream come true. There’s nothing like pouring your heart and soul into an original story only to have it generate a teeny tiny fraction of the traffic from, say, a news post about a Jenner (cough). Whether or not people will want to read those passion projects once they’re showcased on Discover remains to be seen: Ignoring what’s popular on social media in favor of editor’s picks may very well be akin to disregarding what readers want entirely.
It’s also a bold move to ask editors to update their Discover page only once every 24 hours. Most successful digital media companies update constantly throughout the course of 24 hours, so in order to compete in the news space, they’re going to have to feature some truly compelling content. If the goal is to get readers off of Snapchat and onto the home pages of these media partners, though, it might be a good move. Tantalizing Snapchatters with the best of the best content might lure them onto the actual news sites, converting them into loyal readers. Hey, an editor can dream.
So, Discover might just be the bridge between old and new media. Consider us intrigued.