Social Sprint: Snapchat Discover Subscriptions
The latest social media news in fewer than 400 words. The Social Sprint.
Everyone wants a Snapchat Discover channel. Discover is a section of Snapchat, providing in-app content from 19 publishers, including BuzzFeed, MTV and National Geographic. Snapchat pick and choose the channels, removing poor performers. In September 2015, BuzzFeed was receiving 21% of its total traffic from Discover, having joined in July. (Only Facebook video pulled in more, at 27%)
With limited places available, the feature has struggled to balance competition with exclusivity. While clinging to their Spiegel-given feed, channel owners bemoan the rising number of other channels.
Here’s the problem. Following a deal with Viacom, Snapchat are expanding Discover further, adding another set of channels, the publishers are yet to be announced.
Snapchat’s solution? Subscriptions. Users will be able to subscribe to a channel, receiving notifications whenever a new piece of content goes live.
Thin end of the wedge
If the subscription option proves popular, there’s no reason to continue Discover’s exclusivity policy. There are currently 19 channels, with no single human in the world interested in all 19 channels. Example: I’m interested in the Mashable and Vice. I’m not interested in the Daily Mail or Cosmopolitan.
Massively expanding Discover would improve Snapchat’s user experience, a really important point to consider as Snapchat looks to go mainstream.
Users will be much more likely to stick around if they find a place that collects all of the fresh content from sites that they love.
It also solves a key problem. Finding Snapchat accounts now is frustrating. Without knowing the account name or their linked phone number, you’re not going to find it. This is fine when the focus is on connecting with friends, but if companies are getting on board, it starts to be a big issue. Yeah, there’s that new code picture, but you can’t remember it, the way you would a Twitter handle.
2016 is Snapchat’s year of expansion. Improving ads, broadening beyond youngsters, developing UX. As we’ve learned from Facebook and Twitter, this is the period that defines the network. Subscriptions could become a defining feature, one that keeps hold of the users that download the app in 2016.