North Texas Daily

We think Snapchat may be on to something

We think Snapchat may be on to something

We think Snapchat may be on to something
February 10
00:29 2015

The Editorial Board

Snapchat launched in 2011, branding itself as a social media application, allowing users to send photos and videos on timers. The app seemed  to be just a creative, innovative method for connecting with friends. Here we are in 2015 and Snapchat is providing news and entertainment like no other tool in the game.

Launched on Jan. 27, 2015, Discover is a new interface within Snapchat dedicated to hard and soft news, entertainment and comedy. It’s the latest development from Snapchat, an app that already shares “stories” around the world.

Good for Snapchat, taking a risk in pushing a new product to iffy news consumers. And good for the modern news consumer, as Discover allows users to surf through news outlets, reading and watching content picked by editors and producers from the respective companies.

As university students in our busy study-work environment, it’s often difficult to keep up with in-depth news. Snapchat now offers ideally appropriate content snack sized on a very social application. It seems like it could be a good match.

It is important that news consumption increase among our generation and age group, whether it is through video, written pieces or illustrative graphics and charts.

The Internet offers medias an opportunity to keep content relevant at all hours; Snapchat now increases awareness of it. Take a look at CNN. The list-form news stories provide convenience to impatient readers. As late as Monday morning, CNN featured “The NASA Diet,” a health and interest package on astronauts’ food in space. The snap was engaging in ways expected from CNN, with its trademark intro: “This is CNN.”

But the new section offers more celebrity news, too. Snapchat curates Daily Mail content, which seems to effectively market news to students of the Generation Y cohort. The subject material of the Daily Mail, however, is often of low newsworthiness, but the writing style and tempo of which the staff at Daily Mail writes is appropriate for this generation.

More reputable news organizations are available within Snapchat, including National Geographic, which offers masterful visuals. ESPN offers its dominant sports journalism, and Cosmopolitan adds the dash of pink. These top sources are waiting within the same app used by so many of the college-aged demographic.

Snapchat takes its event coverage in a new direction by adding its own internal reportage by actual reporters. It’s doubtful that works with an audience so accustomed to Snapchat being a place to send hideous selfies to friends. Be honest, if you ran for president, your snaps would ruin you.

This product development could turn into a pioneering channel for the media business to target millennials. There is a possibility Snapchat will become too much of a celebrity-pop culture source, competing with E! News and People magazine. If a new outlet for news journalism is plugged by gossip-oriented companies, it will be a missed opportunity by the industry so eager for engagement from this age group.

If the last 10 years indicated anything, it’s that in the Internet era, small business plans grow into competitive firms quickly. That’s partly due to the creativity associated with the modern sense of pride in entrepreneurialism. Snapchat is starting to become a new player in the uncertain world of online media circulation.

Entrepreneurial journalism is producing formidable digital media companies such as Vox, which obtained credentials to sit down with President Barack Obama. BuzzFeed News is also to interview the president this week. The news business has start-up fever it seems, thanks to the Internet.

Snapchat has reached the attention of this important audience. Now it must be wise to follow gatekeeping of legacy mediums when selecting content. The future of engagement lies with the college-age demographic.

So pay attention to what Snapchat is offering. Allow the content in Discover to reach you, and consume more news, lengthen your attention span and care once again about what’s going on in the world.

We encourage you to discuss your opinion about Snapchat with us through a letter to the editor, online post or just stop by GAB 117. Do you read news within Snapchat? Do you find it a better alternative to other news media apps or websites?

Featured Image: The Snapchat logo. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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