As announced last year it would, Snapchat now offers the Discover section of their application. In the section, users can see news outlets that have joined the feature and swipe through the news organizations’ video and written content for that day.
Techcrunch says the feature signals a step away from citizen journalism:
“This new Discover page puts media at the forefront of Snapchat’s product. Brands and publishers are delivering content to users as opposed to relying solely on content users create to power usage of the company.”
After I tried it out, it actually appears to represent a major step away from citizen journalism.
A menu of brands showing their content on Discover…
A screenshot of a video news report I got after hitting CNN…
A screenshot of a video highlight I got after hitting ESPN…
Here is a look at how other outlets, People Magazine and Yahoo News, apparently used the feature:
Discover acts as a cross between a news app and a video-streaming service, especially with the ESPN stream concluding its series of game highlights and analysis with its iconic Sportscenter theme song, usually heard on TV.
The focus on quality of content is unsurprising considering Snapchat reportedly brought on board former newspeople to work on the feature.
When rumors emerged last year about Snapchat’s Discover section, BuzzFeed was among the news outlets reportedly in talks to be featured. However, as of the second day of the section being up, BuzzFeed has not been shown and it remains unclear why.
[Update: BuzzFeed’s failure to be featured was due to a disagreement in how the blog’s content would look, per The Wall Street Journal]
Snapchat is not totally anti-citizen journalism. In June 2014, it announced the Our Story feature that lets users add their post to a series of posts from a certain event. From the looks of it, Our Story will stay in tact.