The VPM Blog

The Hits and Misses of Snapchat Discover

Posted by Lindsey Barnes on Jun 1, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Snapchat’s Discover feature has created a new way many of us receive news. Whether you’re a Snapchat user who spends hours reading celebrity gossip, the latest world news or you barely touch the feature, you know what it is. For those of you who don’t use Snapchat and don't know what Snapchat Discover is, here's a brief summary:

Media channels and magazines such as Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, the Food Network, and CNN all have channels on Discover.  Snapchat users can click on the channels and watch videos, quick animations, and read articles that the channels produce.  Sounds like a great place to read the news, right? Well, there are some mixed feelings about Discover.  

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Snapchat lovers' reasons for enjoying Discover...

  1. The diversity of the options

Snapchat discover began with around 20 channels and now has over 40. Discover is extremely innovative because it has all types of news for Snapchat users to consume. Users can find recipes and cooking videos from the Food Network, look through photos of the best and worst dressed at the Oscars on Vogue’s channel and read about the latest, pressing world news on The New York Times' channel.

  1. Information all in one place

Those who desire to always be in the know, enjoy the aspect that all of their favorite media channels and news resources are in one place. People are busy and even the simple act of changing from one news app to another takes time.  In 2017 people find that having all of their favorite informational sources in one place is a luxury.

  1. Easy to consume and always new information

Each channel on Discover posts about 5-10 pieces of content and usually refreshes their content around every 24 hours to every couple of days. The content is easy to consume because it’s usually a quick, simple-read article, a graphic or an image with animated words, or a short video.  Not only is it easy to read when you are on a time crunch, but you can also effortlessly share the content with your Snapchat friends.  To share, you simply press down on the screen, select which of your friends you want to send the piece of content with, and send it off.  Since the content changes every day there is always something new to learn or read about on your favorite channels.    

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Here's how some Discover critics feel about it...

  1. It takes a trendy approach to delivering news

One big reason traditional news subscribers don’t like the Discover feature is that some channels use graphics, bright colors and other flashy tactics to make news more trendy. The presentation of the news is glamorized, which some people feel like takes away from the value.  

  1. Too much pop culture, not enough relevant news

Others argue that sorting through the channels to find news that isn’t about the Kardashian’s latest vacation or the most recent celebrity couple breakup is difficult. This may be true for some of the pop culture publications, but each channel that pays large sums of money for a spot on Discover is there because that's where their buyer persona is.  Last year Cosmopolitan was receiving an average of 19-20 million viewers a month on Discover. So while Cosmopolitan may not be your channel of choice, Discover is definitely the right place for them to be.

  1. You can’t filter the options

The common belief is that you can’t filter the news that you want to see. However, you can subscribe to the channels you like on Discover.  Once subscribed to, they will show up in a separate section, so you don't have to scroll through the rest of the options to find the ones you like.  But, if you haven't clicked through all the pieces of content in a channel to get to the end, where each media channel has "swipe up to subscribe", you wouldn't be aware of this.  

Although Discover has its attractive and unattractive functions, it is still wildly successful. Not only are the brands on Discover doing their best to be in the right place for their audience, so are the companies that are buying ad space. Discover doesn't seem to be dwindling away any time soon, especially since so many channels have been added recently.  For those of you who aren't fans of the trendy news on Discover, you may be interested in the Washington Post's Discover content.  The Washington Post launched on Discover earlier this year and has made it their goal to deliver breaking, relevant news, daily.  However, there is a lot more than just the Washington Post to explore on Discover.  Check it out and decide for yourself whether it's too trendy, or if it's changing the news game for the better.  

If you want to keep your Snapchat-loving audience engaged check out our FREE guide about Marketing to Millenials.   

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Topics: social media marketing, Snapchat