Snapchat launches media feature on app

SAN FRANCISCO – Snapchat announced Tuesday the launch of a new feature that will deliver news and entertainment content to members of the app.

The move is a bid to dive into media distribution and hopefully monetize its user-base.

Snapchat calls the feature “Discover” and it focuses on content channels from media heavyweights including CNN, Yahoo News, National Geographic, the Food Network, ESPN, Cosmopolitan and others.

In bright news for the company’s investors, advertising will run alongside the articles, images and video.

Snapchat allows users to send ephemeral text, image and video messages to each other that automatically delete after a few seconds. Following a meteoric rise in popularity, many wondered how the three-year old service could actually pull in any revenue.

Discover is Snapchat’s answer.

“Snapchat Discover is a new way to explore stories from different editorial teams,” the company said in a blog post published Tuesday. “It’s the result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.”

Discover displays a series of “channels” on a user’s phone, like CNN or ESPN, which, once selected, will reveal a curated batch of stories, video and images. Snapchat promises that each edition is refreshed after 24-hours.  

Snapchat is trying to distance itself from trending content delivery now offered by Facebook and Twitter, adding that Discover “is not social media.”

“We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important,” Snapchat contended.

Snapchat is also betting on its format for Discover’s success. The app is guaranteeing full screen photographs and video, well-designed long-form story layouts and “gorgeous advertising.”

Snapchat has previously dabbled in advertising, sending out short film trailers to users for example, but the response was tepid. Discover, however, shows much more depth and thought.

Snapchat ended last year valued at an impressive $10 billion after a December fundraising round.

Copyright © 2015 Anadolu Agency