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Snapchat launches new journalism initiative: Opens up its public snaps

At a time when Facebook is struggling to create strong business partnerships with publishers, Snapchat is moving ahead with a news push. Snap Inc. is making it easier for media organizations to discover and use publicly shared Snapchat content in their coverage.

This will be made accessible via the Snap Map, which displays public snaps on a heatmap searchable by location, and users can see Snaps of events, celebrations, breaking news, and more from around the world.

“Snapchat’s cameras are now used by more than 190 million people globally, regularly creating the most valuable user-generated content during breaking news situations, major sporting or entertainment events, or other cultural moments,” said Rahul Chopra, the Head of Stories Everywhere at Snap Inc.

On average, 3 billion Snaps are created every day. The average daily user of Snapchat creates more than 20 Snaps per day and active users visit the app 25 times every day. 10 billion mobile videos are now viewed daily on Snapchat, rivaling Facebook in terms of user engagement.

Offering new tools and support to publishers, journalists and news outlets to better mine the billions of public videos and photos shared daily on Snapchat for news and information, the company is granting free access to the content to four news discovery platforms: NewsWhipStoryfulSAM Desk and Tagboard.

“These new distribution partnerships will build on existing initiatives Snap has been working on in recent months to bring this content into the world, and better support the needs of media organizations who want to use it,” said Chopra.

The Snap Map was already a powerful tool for journalists searching for information, photos and videos from breaking news locations. Thanks to Snap’s partnerships with the content discovery platforms, that data will be much more accessible for newsrooms, through integrating the Snap API into their tech stack to surface content and insights.

“Prior to today, nobody’s had access to this level of Snapchat content, so these creators have been missing the stories and events that matter to an entire generation,” said Brett Lofgren, NewsWhip’s President and CRO.

“The geography data from Snapchat is really trustworthy compared to other platforms, and it can be very targeted, which makes the content compliment text-based journalism on Twitter really well,” said James Neufeld, CEO and founder of SAM Desk. “Using our AI, journalists can combine the two sets of data to find facts and break news that much faster.”

For reaching the younger generation, Snapchat is key. According to Pew Research, 78% of 18 to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, and 71% of these users visit the platform multiple times per day. Plus it makes sense from the budgetary perspective.

“It’s no longer cost efficient to ship out trucks and reporters to every location where news is breaking. Today billions of people are generating content in real-time on their smartphones. As a result, the way news breaks and stories are told has evolved with live social content interwoven in stories and live broadcasts,” says Nathan Peterson, Chief Revenue Officer at Tagboard.

“Even though this is a tool for journalists, I do think publishers and media organizations will find this useful, because it gives them access to footage during breaking news situations that is otherwise very expensive to obtain on their own,” concluded former Storyful executive Rahul Chopra, who leads Snap’s “Stories Everywhere” push to make its content more widespread outside of its platform.

Publishers can now register their interest in gaining early access to Snapchat content.


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