Snapchat capitalizes on Facebook's News Feed tweak (SNAP, FB)

Kevin Tran
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BI Intelligence


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Snapchat is placing more emphasis on courting and growing its relationships with publishers, Digiday reports.

Last week, Snap Director of Content Mike Su emailed its Discover publisher partners and conveyed Snapchat’s commitment to work more closely with publishers to help them improve their content quality and increase reach.

Snapchat’s move to court publishers comes amid major content-strategy-related changes. As part of a staff reorganization, the company laid off about 24 employees, mainly from its content division, last week. Snapchat plans to fully roll out its app redesign, which will divide publisher and friend content into separate feeds, by the end of Q1 2018. The redesign could improve discoverability and ultimately lead to more views of publisher content and Snapchat ads.   

The company looks to build its relationships with publishers for two key reasons:

  • Many of Snapchat’s users aren’t engaging with publishers on Discover Edition.Consumption of publisher content on Discover Edition — which hosts publishers’ digital magazines on the app — peaked in July 2017 at 38 million daily users, according to The Daily Beast. This represents just 21% of Snapchat’s 178 million daily user base. Low Discover Edition engagement could cause publishers to allocate fewer resources to the section. Snapchat looks to lower the chances of this occurring by working more closely with publishers to help them increase their reach.
  • Several of its publisher partners have already halted Discover Edition content creation in recent months. CNN stopped producing content for Discover Edition in August 2017 due to low monetization, for example. Additionally, Comedy Central decided against continuing to create content for Discover Edition in September of last year, as it opted to refocus its efforts on creating shows for Discover. Snapchat’s email to publishers could be a pre-emptive move to prevent more companies from abandoning Discover Edition.

Snapchat’s move to court publishers is timely, given Facebook’s recent algorithm tweak that will de-prioritize publisher content. There’s evidence that Facebook’s tweak has already hurt publishers’ Facebook video views, and this could ultimately lead to lower monetization. The algorithm change will likely cause publishers to diversify video partners to minimize the impact of lower views on Facebook, which Snapchat can capitalize on.

Snapchat’s first ever publisher summit can help it win over publishers. Su announced the company would host a summit to inform publishers on Snapchat products and best practices. The summit will also give publishers a chance to network with each other and give Snapchat feedback. Additional details on the summit are scarce, but it's clear the event is aimed at convincing publishers to focus more on their Snapchat content strategy.

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