Snapchat Just Declared War on Facebook

Published on April 6, 2019

Snapchat may have been declared dead by social media users long ago, but the social networking platform will stop at nothing to remain afloat. The company announced this week at its Partner Summit—a one-day event hosted by the company to announce new features and business models—that it would be launching a bunch of new features in the next couple of months.

New Media

When Snapchat launched its discover platform a couple of years ago it became clear that the company was trying to venture into becoming a one-stop-shop for young people to learn about current events while chatting with their friends. The messaging app was criticized heavily during its early years for being fairly useless.

It was also criticized by parents for giving teens an outlet to message one another without risking having the information leave a footprint. For this reason, partnerships with major media companies like BuzzFeed, CNN, Cosmopolitan, National Geographic, and more were a bold move for the brand.

Users began seeing updates to the functionality of the app. It was now more than just a private chat platform, it was a source of current events. At first the content featured on the platform linked directly to the news sites, but eventually media outlets began curating specialized content for Snap itself.

Today, dozens of media outlets curate content for the platform specifically. It’s become a way for companies like CNN to effectively communicate with a younger demographic—something that other social media platforms have struggled hard to do in the past.

What’s Next For Snap?

So many apps already have their own messaging system down. For this reason, Snap is aiming to venture into new territory in its next updates. The company announced this week that it plans to roll out original streaming content. It makes an example of Netflix as its source of inspiration. The new content will be called Snap Originals, and it will offer a new type of experience for Snap users to dive into.

“We’re working closely with a new generation of creators and we’re listening closely to our audience to develop new kinds of shows from the ground up,” said the head of Original content for Snap, Sean Mills. The app company has taken data from how its 186 million daily active users have interacted with it. Snap used this information as a means to create the layout for the new Original content.

All of this points to one very unsurprising announcement: Snap is venturing into the choose your own adventure or interactive watching experience. The company has rolled out content like this in the past. It let users become part of things like murder mysteries and interactive experiences.

Snap Vs. Facebook

It sounds like Snap is declaring war with Netflix, not Facebook, right? The app also announced its bold new plan to get users away from Facebook. It plans to do this by partnering with other social media apps. The plan includes cross partnerships with apps like Tinder and Houseparty. The partner apps will share Snap exclusive content to draw in more users.

Most of Snap’s user-base is teens already, and the app has been working tirelessly to make that demographic happy. This aims to compete with platforms like Tik Tok, which lets users create and share short videos. Snap has its work cut out for it already without trying to combat the monster that is Facebook.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

Read more

More GD News