Snapchat Launches New "Discover" Feature

Colleen Fielder@yogirlcfield

On January 27, Snapchat introduced a new feature called “Discover.” Snapchat has collaborated with several different news sources, editorials and TV channels (think CNN, Cosmopolitan, and Comedy Central) to bring us bite-sized content in a fun, fresh way. We know millennials are time-oriented. They want immediate news without having to read a long article. Snapchat has done just that. Whether it’s short video clips, images or simply a short article, it’s grabbing the attention of the 13–25 demographic in a great way. I’m picturing CNN people jumping up and down yelling, “We can finally reach the millennials!!”

Each channel is updated daily. I’ll say that again, DAILY. That means new articles, new funny videos, and new pictures of adorable animals. (You all need to check National Geographic’s channel ASAP!) Because these companies have teamed up with Snapchat, you’re getting news in a creative way that is visually appealing. We decide to continue reading an article or watching a video within the first two seconds, so visual appeal is especially important these days. Snapchat also gives you the power to watch or read whatever interests you. Don’t feel like watching Nat Geo’s 2-minute video of a jaguar attacking a crocodile? You can skip it.

It’s quite the opportunity for media businesses. Snapchat is valued at $10 billion and is the second most downloaded app of 2014. Young people are spending hours each day on the app and now they have a chance to reach all 100 million of those selfie-taking teens. Instead of taking a picture, click on the “Stories Feed” and press the glowing, purple dot in the top right. You should see something like this:

The content being produced is exclusive to Snapchat. That is, the companies are creating it JUST for Snapchat. That means you won’t be able to do a Google search for that funny video you watched or that interesting article you read. As much as this may not be great for us, it’s great for Snapchat. Not only does it increase Snapchat’s users, it pushes people to use “Discover” every day for fear of missing something great. (FOMO: Fear of Missing Out; we all have it.) What’s truly significant is Snapchat’s ability to promote news to a younger generation. It’s becoming clear that Snapchat is a whole lot more than just an app to send a silly selfie.


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