Snapchat Journalism

Snapchat is continuing to prove itself as a marketing tool. Taco Bell used the app to promote the launch of it’s breakfast menu, Snapcash allows users to transfer money with each other, and now the Discover feature allows you to look at content from major news and television networks. It’s crazy to think that all these networks from Comedy Central and Cosmopolitan all the way to CNN and DailyMail are publishing compelling content on an app that’s usage was once just associated only with concupiscent teenagers sending lewd pictures.

The Discover feature is a new feature on Snapchat, where organizations are allowed to post new content every 24 hours. This content can be short form or long form and contain video and images just as it would have on its webpage. The thing I find intriguing is the news networks using this and the opportunity there. Snapchat is the same as any other social media site, you can use it to publish content about something as soon as it happens. So when are journalists going to start using it as tool to reach a younger audience with the 24 hour news cycle?

Right now, CNN, DaylyMail and Yahoo News may post a big news story. Now think about where this could go. Journalists could be on Discover and you could find and follow them. Right now there’s a limited number of users on Discover and they’re automatically on the app once you download the new update. Soon others will want in on this though, and I imagine Snapchat will take advantage of that once they find an effective way to monetize. I can see journalists sending snap videos of riots in the streets or political conferences in an effort to reach the young demo of Snapchat users. It’s revolutionary if you think about it. Competent journalists could reach the young generation who are disengaged with current events. News is already being packaged into nugget sized pieces that are easy to consume, now we can make those nuggets even more appealing and put them on a plate right in front of this audience.

Now many people may think that in the end, this audience won’t be interested and even though the news is right there, the kids on Snapchat won’t care. Studies are showing though that this generation is becoming more engaged with content over social media rather than on television and that they are motivated to positively affect the world. Knowing what is happening in the world is an important part of that. Also, one thing that will be the death of journalism is by it not adapting fast enough. Snapchat is one way to adapt, and is a leap in the right direction. So, will major news organizations be hiring Snapchat Journalists in a few years?

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