After publishing stories on Snapchat for two years, The New York Times is expanding its presence on the platform with the debut of its new channel on Snapchat Discover, a showcase for Snapchat’s media and publishing partners.
To help us old fogeys (everyone over the age of 30) who doesn't get what all the kids are doing on that Snapchat, the NYT also published a helpful “how-to” guide!
The NYT channel on Snapchat Discover will offer readers new daily editions every weekday, containing a broad cross-section of journalism, including international reporting, in-depth investigations, smart living tips, and the mini-crossword — all presented in Snapchat’s immersive visual format.
The first edition includes video of a drone attack by ISIS in Mosul, Iraq, and news from the first round of the French presidential election.
As the NYT noted, it already has a going concern on Snapchat with its daily stories, presenting visually focused compilations of videos and photos composed over a 24-hour period, which start to disappear exactly 24 hours after they’re posted, the earliest additions disappearing first.
The newspaper describes the result as a “visual rough cut narrative.”
For the creaking relics among us who aren’t already regular Snapchat users, there’s no need for technology anxiety, the newspaper explains soothingly: “Not there yet? Fear not.” It then provides a simple how-to guide for accessing NYT content on Snapchat Discover, highlighting the ease of navigation, as well as the single most important rule: “keep tapping” (and subscribe).
Many publishers and media partners have joined Discover since its debut in January 2015, including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, BuzzFeed, People, National Geographic, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, The Economist, MTV, iHeartRadio and the Food Network.
However, it’s not always smooth sailing, as some publishers have reported sudden drops in their audience sizes following changes to the format that moved the “Discover” tab off the app’s main Stories page. Monetization on the platform – which only launched in 2011 – is still a work in progress.
Of course, media companies face similar (or bigger) issues with other big platforms. That's reflected in growing evidence that publishers are pulling back on their partnerships with Facebook. That's due to constraints on the options they can offer advertisers, large declines in organic reach following changes to Facebook’s algorithms for displaying content in users’ news feeds, and the long-term pitfalls of a strategy that essentially allows Facebook to “own” their audiences.