Future generations will look at how we get our news today — with our wasteful dead tree "newspapers," and persistent "websites" and "blogs" that you need to scroll to read, and video "broadcasts" that last for several minutes at a time — and they will laugh. That's because the Snapchat news revolution is at hand.
As the Wall Street Journal reports (likely through gritted teeth and the smoke of a printing press burning), Snapchat, the company that makes the self-destructing photo and video app that's bewitched young America into sexting their lives away, has held talks recently with "at least a dozen media companies, including newspapers, magazines and television networks." What did Snapchat want to talk to these companies about? A new service called "Snapchat Discovery," scheduled for release in November, that will "let users read daily editions of publications as well as watch video clips of TV shows or movies by holding down a finger on the screen." Sounds exactly like how Snapchat works right now. Oh, but wait, this new service is also said to contain advertising.
Are America's Snapchatting youth ready for Wolf Blitzer selfies and disappearing erectile dysfunction pill ads? Actually, the only news outlet mentioned by name as a Snapchat collaborator isThe Daily Mail and its popular website MailOnline, though both declined to comment to The Journal. It's also worth noting that there are already several startup news organizations using Snapchat to communicate with followers, among them NowThisNews and yours truly. And The Journal points out that many other companies have been using Snapchat for promotions, including Taco Bell (we reported on the fact that the HBO show Girls was also using the app). However, Snapchat Discovery is likely going to be the first instance of paid advertising through the app.
Snapchat's 24-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel has reportedly been making the case to advertisers himself, and The Journal quotes his presentation numbers, including the fact that Snapchat's users send 500 million snaps a day and the average user checks their account 14 times every day. With numbers like that, and a reported $10 billion valuation, Snapchat's news network may make a lasting impression after all.