With Snap, Inc. going public in the coming days, the company and its popular app Snapchat have taken up an increasingly large portion of the news cycle. The app, which started as a way to send disappearing pictures and messages, has now morphed into a formidable content platform that reaches hard-to-acquire audiences like millennials and Generation Y. Publishers looking to take advantage of the app can use these tips to get the most out of the dancing ghost!
Snapchat was released in 2011, but only recently have publishers started to take advantage of its publishing capabilities. While brands like Cosmopolitan and People Magazine were early adopters of the app’s Discover section, more traditional publications have started to join as well. The Wall Street Journal and The Economist are examples of major publications using the app to distribute their content, and The New York Times announced earlier this month that they would be joining in as well.
Brands that have started using the app have seen great returns in traffic as well. Just look at BuzzFeed, which reported that Snapchat was its third-largest traffic source behind only direct and Facebook traffic in 2015. BuzzFeed also reported in June of 2016 that its average watch time had risen 33 percent in the last year.
As mentioned above, The New York Times is planning to start distributing content on Snapchat’s Discover section. Why would a publication of the Times’ stature spend the time and resources to distribute content on an app known for selfies? They know it’s a great way to reach younger audiences. Snapchat says users under the age of 25 are on the app 20 times per day, spending more than 30 minutes on the app each day.
“We’re seeing enormous interest on the part of younger audiences for the sort of smart, visual digital journalism for which The Times has become known,” says Kinsey Wilson, executive vice president, product, and technology at The New York Times company, “and Snapchat is an ideal place to reach that audience.” Millennials get more of their news through reading than older adults, and Snapchat is a great way to get your content in front of them.
As the Internet continues to grow, specifically on mobile, it’s not enough to just distribute your content on your site. Social media, as well as platforms like Apple News and Google AMP, are valuable ways to get your content in front of a larger audience. The mixing of mediums continues with Snapchat. Even if you don’t have the resources to put out content on the Discover portion of the app, you can still use the Stories section to distribute content to a desirable audience. A recent study from Snaplytics showed that brands active on the app typically post around 13 Stories per month. While it’s not as efficient in terms of monetization as Discover, it still provides another social media platform for driving traffic back to your content.
Snapchat is full of useful benefits for publishers. As it goes through the process of filing for an IPO, it’s time for publishers to start taking advantage of their platform.