Snapchat introduced a new feature on Tuesday dubbed Discover, an ad-supported media hub featuring videos, photos and scrollable news articles.
Discover has 10 media partners at launch – CNN, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, ESPN, Food Network, National Geographic, People, Vice and Yahoo News.
The launch underlines the increasing prominence of sponsored videos on social media sharing sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.
But Snapchat is insisting that Discover is not social media.
“Social media companies tell us what to read based on what’s most recent or most popular,” the company stated in a blog post. “We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important.”
Companies have already been using Snapchat as an outlet for branded video content. In November, British-based company Topdeck Travel launched its own travel series on the platform, titled Topdeck Snaps, and last month Marriott teamed with marketing agency Naritiv to launch a Snapchat channel featuring digital native stars such as Viner Brittany Furlan and YouTubers Casey Neistat and Louis Cole sharing their hotel-stay adventures.
With Discover, each brand will have an individual channel with curated content presented in “editions” that will refresh with at least 5 new stories every 24 hours.
CNN’s Tuesday edition of Discover included a looping video snippet about the East Coast blizzard, a news report on smart drugs, a photo-rich article on President Obama’s visit to India and the visual tone poem cum mini-doc Ghosts of Auschwitz, interspersed with video ads from the channel’s sponsor, BMW.
On the Comedy Central channel, stories will be created from the cable network’s existing linear TV franchises, including late-night series The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and @midnight with Chris Hardwick, as well as primetime series such as Broad City, Inside Amy Schumer, Key & Peele, Kroll Show and Workaholics.