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Let’s talk about: Snapchat.

By , on February 3, 2015 at 9:00 am

Did you hear? Snapchat has a new feature. It’s called Discover.

And, everybody’s talking about it.

Snapchat Discover

By now, you probably already know that Discover boasts a separate screen (just swipe) featuring a paneled wall of participating media outlets—also known as brands. From ESPN to VICE to Cosmopolitan to National Geographic, there’s something for everyone who reads those selected media outlets (see what I did there?). Every 24 hours, brands…oops I mean media companies…update fresh “editions”—essentially curated video clips—which then lead to fuller pieces of #content. Basically, you get a taste and then can opt in for a longer experience.

“This is not social media,” Snapchat declares in its introductory post for Discover. Except…isn’t it? Regardless of whether or not we can share this content YET, Snapchat is leveraging a mobile device embedded with sharing functionality through its original platform, which is the embodiment of “social media.” Keeping the content in the hands of the curators isn’t wrong, but there’s no way user-generated responses aren’t going to inch their way closer in. In fact, marketers love sharing because it gives them a trackable KPI.

What may be waning is the notion of public sharing. Snapchat has always been about privacy (unless you get hacked! I can say that as an #originaladopter of Snapchat). The problem with Facebook and Twitter is that everyone in your master-network sees you liking that video of a cat falling off a roof. Seamless, user-centric, private sharing could take off, if Snapchat enables it. I see a video on National Geographic that is cool, and I send it to ONE of my Snapchat cohorts. I become a private curator just as much as Snapchat’s content curators are.

Snapchat clearly has world domination on its mind. To be the go-to mobile app for both consuming and sharing is a lofty goal, especially facing competition on both fronts and not having achieved either ambition. I also have to wonder if this just means more work…for everyone. How much of Snapchat’s content will be “exclusive versus recycled video clips linking to articles easily available through other branded apps or aggregators? Is this just another box for marketers to check? All in all, we’ll have to see what happens. Sometime it feels like these themes of makers vs. sharers, public vs. private and networks vs. friends continue to be re-shuffled but never totally resolved.

Will the next sequences of #breaking Snapchat news be centered on new media brands joining the crew? Who’s next? Who would you really want to be in the Snapchat club?

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Categories: Features, Industry News, Press