The self-destructing video messenger announced Discover in a blog post early this morning, calling it “a new way to explore Stories from different editorial teams,” including launch partners ESPN, Vice, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, and CNN. Part of Snapchat’s latest software update, the new feature can be found to the right of users’ contact lists. There, they’ll find a grid of logos. Tapping on a logo opens up mini-pages featuring “full screen photos and videos” and “awesome long form layouts”–all of which is supported by “gorgeous advertising.”
It’s a radically different direction for Snapchat, and perhaps the company’s most significant revenue-related move yet. Despite its $10 billion valuation, Snapchat has been slow to monetize. Turning the app into a youth-targeting media platform seems, at least at first blush, like a brilliant maneuver.
Why? Because as we wrote in a recent profile of Snapchat, turning it into a news distribution network makes complete sense:
“Part of the appeal of Snapchat is its immediacy: The app opens right into the camera screen and tightly limits your ability to upload existing photos, meaning that for the most part, you’re able to trust that what you see on Snapchat is happening right this very minute. That you-are-there feeling, perhaps even more than the ephemeral nature of the pictures, is why Snapchat has broken through the glut of social and photo apps and established itself as second only to Facebook and Instagram in market dominance.”
Who knows? Maybe this could be Snapchat’s AdWords.