Aug 18, 2020 - Technology

Scoop: Snapchat experiments with letting users share more content off app

Illustration of Snapchat ghost holding speech bubbles
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Snapchat is testing a feature that would allow users to share Snapchat content that is not their own off of the platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: The company had previously announced a push to get users to share "Stories" outside of its app. It's now taking that a step further by allowing users to easily share content that was previously proprietary to Snapchat off of the app, like original shows, content from its Discover partners and celebrity Snapchats.

Details: The update will allow Snapchat users to share "Snap Originals," "Shows" and "Publisher Stories" with their friends off the platform using easily shareable links.

  • Snapchat users can also share "Our Stories," photos and videos submitted from different Snapchatters within a certain community that are collected and categorized by Snapchat. These types of "Stories" can be especially newsy during breaking news events, like hurricanes or protests.
  • The links, when shared via other social media sites, iMessage, email or elsewhere, will take users back to watch the videos in the Snapchat app or to a web or mobile web-viewing experience, according to a source familiar with the plans.
  • All content will continue to be hosted on Snap’s own servers and streamed through Snap’s online media player.
  • A Snapchat spokesperson confirmed the experiment, telling Axios: "We’re always exploring ways to make it even easier to view Snapchat’s engaging and topical content and share it with your friends."

Snapchat is also testing a rebrand of its personalized content feed called "For You," according to a source familiar with the plans.

  • The new feed will be called "Spotlight," and will feature content from Snap creators, curated Snapchat stories and premium content, including "Discover" shows and "Publisher Stories."
  • Users will have the option to submit their best Snaps to the new "Spotlight" feed, just as they can post their Snaps today for consideration into Snapchat's "Our Story" community feed.
  • Any Snaps submitted to "Spotlight" are reviewed by Snapchat for approval.

The big picture: Both new tests are part of efforts to expand Snapchat's audience.

  • Snapchat now has 238 million daily active users — up 35 million, or 17% year-over-year — thanks in large part to the pandemic forcing more people to stay inside and use their phones.
  • The number of Snapchat users watching "Shows" on Snapchat increased by more than 45% year-over-year last quarter.
  • While Snapchat has successfully been growing its audience, it still remains much smaller than rivals like Instagram and Facebook.

Go deeper: Snapchat to push user content outside app

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