Snapchat Discover – a modern news platform // week 11


Who would have thought social messaging app Snapchat would become a news delivery platform when it was first released in 2011? Since then, the app has changed dramatically with the addition of video sharing, 24hr stories, geo tags and facial recognition filters. The aspect most important to journalists however is ‘Snapchat Discover’ which allows major organisations including CNN, National Geographic and ESPN to post news content.

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Source: Giphy.


It was announced on October 7th 2016 that The Economist would be joining Snapchat Discover by posting in-depth editions on a particular topic every weekend.

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Source: Twitter


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Source: Twitter


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In a PRNewswire article, The Economist Strategy and Channel Relationships Senior Vice President Lydia Kaldas said the move to Snapchat was part of a new initiative. “Joining Snapchat Discover is the latest initiative in our “Read, Watch, Listen” strategy, allowing The Economist to adapt its highly-regarded content to new platforms as a way to grow reach and awareness with key audiences,” she said.

This is a smart move by The Economist as it’s content will now be broadcast directly to Snapchat’s 150 million active daily users. This is reportedly more than Twitter which has less than 140 million active daily users. While only 2 per cent of American adults use Snapchat for news, Snapchat claims it reaches 41 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds in the United States, providing news organisations with a great opportunity to reach the younger demographic who may not have a preferred news source.

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Snapchat has re-designed ‘Discover’ since it was introduced to include story images and headlines on the interface. This presents the stories in a more eye-catching format and entices the reader to want to find out more. The increased chance of clicks provides more revenue for publishers and Snapchat itself through advertisements.

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Snapchat Discover now provides a stories image and headline.  Old discover (left) versus new discover (right). Source: Tech Crunch


Right now Snapchat has the potential to change the way in which news is delivered. Whilst the use of Snapchat as a primary source of news is still far from true, major news organisations are jumping onto the Snapchat bandwagon and being taken along for the ride. It will be exciting to see what the future of news will be bring about.

Digital delivery of news // week 7

News telling has transformed thanks to new media and so too has it’s delivery.

Huffington Post CEO Jimmy Maymann said the same content cannot be shifted across mediums and be successful. “We thought content was content and it would work across platforms, but it really doesn’t,” he said. Discussing this idea, ABC News Editor of Interactive Digital Storytelling Matt Liddy said different content delivered in different formats is required. “What they have found over time is there is demand for different types of content and demands for different kinds of thinking about that,” he said.

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Source: Twitter
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In a QUT online journalism lecture Matt Liddy spoke of how the ABC approaches digital delivery of news stories.

1. “If it doesn’t work on mobile it doesn’t work,” he said. Matt says the digital media industry was created for desktop however in the last 10 years mobile has gained significance. Changes in both audience and audience behaviour has led to an increase in the interactive story format and journalists need to take this into account. In the provided YouTube video below titled ‘Digital News Report 2016’, Reuters Institute said mobile phones are becoming the number one device for news.

2. “Interactivity is quite expensive,” Matt said. When looking into the interactive story telling format, journalists will realise that interactivity is more expensive for both the creator and the user. It takes the creator more time and costs them more money to produce the final story. This is due to the need to hire third parties such as developers or designers. It also requires the user to learn a new skill and put in more effort for the story format to work.

3. “Every story starts with an audience of zero,” said Quartz Publisher and President Jay Lauf. Unlike traditional media, digital media requires the creator to go out and find an audience. Previously news stories published via newspapers or television broadcasts had an expected audience however digital news stories do not have this luxury.

4. “The job is only part done when you hit publish,” Matt said. Digital media requires the creator to monitor the story’s progress. Looking at how readers are using the site and whether readers are clicking through to articles allows for journalists to make changes on how the story is being introduced online to ensure the story’s optimal success.

5. “Ignore Facebook at your peril,” Matt said. Facebook is the dominant social media platform according to Matt. “Twitter is fairly niche compared to Facebook,” he says. By ignoring Facebook journalists are ignoring where the ‘lion’s share’ of the audience comes from.

A 2014 study shows Facebook has the highest amount of traffic compared to other social media platforms.

In the Reuters Institute’s ‘Digital News Report 2016’ provided above 44% of the 50,000 people surveyed said they used Facebook for “finding, sharing and consuming news”.

Regardless of these points there is one key point that is relevant to both traditional and digital news telling. “If you are not gathering the right material in the field, it is difficult to get something that hangs together,” Matt said.