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Snapchat puts an even bigger focus on Discover and live stories

Snapchat is taking some drastic steps to make sure you know about Discover, the special section where chosen media partners (and Snapchat itself) post content for the app's millions of users. Today the company updated its mobile app with a redesigned Stories screen that sandwiches a very prominent shortcut to Discover partners right beneath your stories and above those from your friends. The "live" section has also been moved up to this spot, and it too gets preferred placement over your friends.

Depending on how you feel about Discover, the change could be somewhat annoying. The old Discover section is still around, so it's now in two places — with no way for users to toggle off the new (smarter) placement. It very much feels like Snapchat is trying to force this on users. But it's nice to see Snapchat doing a better job at surfacing live stories, which were often lost when buried at the bottom. Live stories are often location-specific, though they're also sometimes made available globally depending on the buzz around a certain event. The update is available now for iOS and is presumably coming to Android in the near future.

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