- Category: Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)
- Published: 11 February 2015
Has SnapChat looked different in the past couple weeks? Swipe your finger to the right twice and scroll past your stories. You’ll find an unfamiliar screen with popular logos of big time companies like National Geographic, Food Network, People and ESPN. Since 2011, SnapChat has been making waves through generations alike, from tweens to young adults.
The first noticeable change of the app came in the form of “My Story,” which allows for a 24-hour collection of snapchats that sends to all of your friends. Forbes states that in 2013, the app first collaborated with live events by sharing snaps based on location that can be viewed by users globally.
The latest transformation of stories has led the app into a number of business partnerships with various media companies. SnapChat has launched “Discover” as a way to promote what companies are doing via a feed of live videos and photos. The app creators insist that it is a way to engage viewers while giving editors and professionals a chance to display their artistic creativity.
CNN, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, ESPN, Food Network, National Geographic, People, Vice, Yahoo News, and Warner Music Group are the establishments that are currently featured and partnered with SnapChat Discover.
Brier Hawkins, a sophomore accounting student, said, “I think businesses who partnered with SnapChat made an inventive business decision. The videos that are advertised based on your location near an event or holiday are already innovative and now this new strategy will get companies more attention indefinitely.”
There seem to be benefits all around for this new feature. This is surely a chance for professionals to creatively display what their companies are up to. It will also be giving users a sneak peek behind the work.
Laurel Weber, a senior public relations student and intern for Food Network thinks the company’s merge is smart for all parties. “I think it’s really cool that Food Network is a new partner on SnapChat’s Discover. Now it is possible for users to have Food Network recipes and ideas at the tips of their fingers. Plus, the app’s reach has grown exponentially among young college students about to enter these exact professions the content is coming from.”
The ads will simultaneously increase revenue for SnapChat too. Though the money motive does not seem to be the entire factor here as in the past the owners have turned down tempting deals. The app’s creators, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook in 2013. They are now estimated to each have a $1.5 billion net worth.
Stuart Rosenberg, an associate professor of management said, “I think it’s a smart business move, both on the part of SnapChat and the companies that are participating in SnapChat’s Discover feature. For SnapChat, it’s a way to generate revenue for its business model. For companies like CNN, ESPN, People, and others, it’s a way to expand their audience to the 13-25 demographic who are already on SnapChat for photo messaging. Because it is so easy for SnapChat users, I think it’s worth the risk.”
It also seems that other unique opportunities will be presented to artists to showcase their talent. For instance, Madonna just premiered her latest music video through Discover and the feature was only released during the last week of January. This means there is likelihood that other musicians will do the same in the future.
According to The Verge, leaked emails from the Sony Hack exposed that SnapChat’s CEO was interested in partnering with the music industry and potentially starting a music label.
SnapChat is indeed a catchy app. It has caught this generation’s attention from the simple start where users could only send and receive photos from friends to now where intricate behind-the-scenes company news can be viewed.
The app claims Discover is not quite a form of social media. According to SnapChat’s creators, “Discover is different because it has been built for creatives. All too often, artists are forced to accommodate new technologies in order to distribute their work. This time we built the technology to serve the art: each edition includes full screen photos and videos, awesome long form layouts, and gorgeous advertising.”
Rosenberg pointed out the distinctiveness of Discover’s media capabilities.
“There are other applications out there that users can go to for information, but the novelty of Discover is that the news is more in the control of the companies supplying the videos. For social media applications like Facebook and Twitter, what becomes newsworthy is more in the hands of consumers,” he said.
In this fast paced digital world, apps are used for a few months and deleted until the next fad comes along. For SnapChat, however, its popularity has remained consistent by adding fresh features to the mix through each update. With the introduction of Discover, it is clear SnapChat will continue to stay even more relevant than ever before with users and content creators alike.
IMAGE TAKEN by Kelly Hughes