Snapchat’s Greatest Asset in its Battle Against Instagram



In a world of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” Snapchat is taking a hard line on what is acceptable for its Discover publishers to broadcast in its feeds.

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There is a battle going on between Snapchat and Instagram, and they are fighting over a loyal user base. In a world that is rapidly changing the way media is being consumed, social platforms are fighting to keep users’ attention spans. Once they have their interest, they need to keep them engaged by providing fresh, interesting content to discover.

Instagram rolled out its “Stories” product in November that acts similarly to Snapchat’s disappearing story feature.

This has resulted in slowing growth numbers for Snapchat and a surge in usage for Instagram. Snapchat is taking an interesting approach to this challenge by worrying less about growing its user base and more about keeping users engaged.

How can Snapchat compete?

Enter Snapchat Discover, a place where users can find and interact with news curated by top publishers like Vice, CNN, and The Washington Post. Discover is a place to read about what’s happening in the world.

In a world of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” Snapchat is taking a hard line on what is acceptable for its Discover publishers to broadcast in its feeds.

Snapchat wants to differentiate itself from Facebook and Instagram by allowing editorial teams to oversee the platform. Now users can stay up to date with politics, sports, and, even celebrity gossip in a fun, succinct way.

Users are eating up the Discover feature, and the median Snapchat Discover channel’s daily users recently doubled. However, many of Discover’s users are not in the age range you would expect. According to eMarketer, “this year, 6.4% of Snapchat’s users will be between 45 and 54, up from the 4.2% previously projected.”

It’s Not Just About the Professionals

Snapchat has the power and the technology to rival Twitter as a near real-time news channel through curating posts from users. The feature, called “Our Stories,” was first introduced in 2014 and was used to compile Snaps from music festivals, sporting events, and other gatherings.

Since then, Snapchat has realized the value in user generated reports of major world events, like the battle of Mosul. In cases like these, the platform offers a personal viewpoint of these news stories. So now you can see what’s happening on the ground and through the eyes of a witness.

This draws an even bigger audience to the Discover section of Snapchat in a much more authentic, less produced way. You’ll see coverage ranging from Inauguration Day to Mardi Gras, in almost real time, but certainly in a real way.

In an effort to stand out amongst all other social platforms, Snapchat has turned itself into a modern-day news outlet that’s not only interesting to Millennials but also to a growing number of Baby Boomers. It goes to show that what brings growth to a platform is not the quantity but quality of content.

Snapchat is setting itself apart by securing large partnerships with major news corporations to capture the viewpoints of average Joes at major events. This allows people to more authentically experience and relate to those events. So watch what you’re doing, because Snapchat is.

At #SMWNYC, Ross Clark (VP and GM, Sweet, a Snapchat-focused content destination) discussed the importance of creating a two-way dialogue with conversational content, as well as some future trends of Snapchat and creating content that only lasts 24 hours before disappearing forever (or does it?)…

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Image Credit: Daniel Holliday on Medium

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