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Snapchat Launches Discover

SnapChat “Discover”, recently launched a  new service that pulls in photos, videos, and articles from publications and networks like National Geographic, People magazine, Comedy Central, The Food Network, and ESPN.

Unlike other “content aggregation” tools, this is curated content — not content chosen from your peers and network in social media but from editors and tastemakers at the publisher.   Its a novel approach.  I have long found that the problem with Flipboard or other aggregation tools was too much content, none of it curated.

In the era of twitter, Facebook, tumblr and 24 hour news, we have more than enough content, but rarely is it packaged and organized by taste-makers much like traditional print journalism is.  This could represent a play by SnapChat to tap into that desire while leveraging new tools to reinvent the experience.

SnapChat’s Discovery, beyond being a new forum for news, is also a place for brands to share longer stories in new and interesting ways.

Stories, which launched in 2013 as a part of Snapchat, is a core piece to Discovery.  Stories is a way to share multiple snaps with all your friends at once in the context of a larger event or “story”.   Brands are utilizing this behavior to create several parts or chapters to branded content, ultimately tapping into user’s behavior of sharing multiple pieces of content as a part of a larger experience.

AT&T recently announced that it would launch a superhero series called “SnapperHer” which will feature social media personalities who will take suggestions from fans, influencing the show’s 12-episode story. In effect, its branded content becomes packaged into digestible chunks which fans can influence.

Brands are beginning to realize that users digest digital content in different ways than they do in traditional media.   So by using these novel approaches they can tell longer stories made up of smaller parts that actually tap into behavior native to the platform – interaction.

As a result, users become more engaged and more interested and they themselves feel like they are a part of the story.  As brands become more engaged in these practices, their content will become more trusted, more engaged with and simply seen as entertainment curated by a tastemaker.  The brand.