How Snapchat is separating social from media
Algorithms based on your your interests, and real media companies preventing "fake news"
Illustration: Axios Visuals
The personalized newsfeed revolutionized the way people share and consume content. But let's be honest: this came at a huge cost to facts, our minds and the entire media industry.
This is a challenging problem to solve because the obvious benefits that have driven the growth of social media – more friends! more likes! more free content! – are also the things that will undermine it in the long run.
Be smart: The Snapchat solution is to rely on algorithms based on your interests — not on the interests of "friends" — and to make sure media companies also profit off the content they produce for our Discover platform. We think this helps guard against fake news and mindless scrambles for friends or unworthy distractions.
While many people view Snapchat as a social media service, it is primarily used to talk with friends – like visual texting. Snapchat began as an escape from social media, where people could send photos and videos to their friends without the pressure of likes, comments, and permanence. By focusing on the camera, Snapchat lowered the barrier to self-expression and showed a new generation that everyone is creative.
But there's a challenge – how can Snapchat better personalize the Stories created by publishers if they aren't curated by friends?
Our thought bubble: It's vitally important that future content feeds are built on top of a human-curated supply of content – rather than just anything that surfaces on the Internet. Curating content in this way will change the social media model and also give us both reliable content and the content we want.
With the upcoming redesign of Snapchat, we are separating the social from the media, and taking an important step forward towards strengthening our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media. This will provide a better way for publishers to distribute and monetize their Stories, and a more personal way for friends to communicate and find the content they want to watch.
See details on the redesign in the Axios stream by clicking here.