On Tuesday, Snapchat unveiled a new "Discover" feature that allows its users to view short videos from publishers like CNN, ESPN, Vice, and Cosmo. The social sharing app is hoping the new feature will lure advertisers interested in running ads against premium multimedia content to Snapchat's young user base.
Snapchat, which currently boasts about 30 million monthly active users and is valued at around $10 billion, has been working on its Discover feature since last year, slowly cementing content partnerships with media companies. Snapchat Discover launched with just 11 publishers featuring exclusive or curated content in the form of short videos, photos, graphics, and animations.
Before viewing the content, users will see a welcome screen from each publisher that's been co-branded. CNN's Snapchat profile, for example, is presented by BMW, while McDonald's has sponsored the Comedy Central profile. Revenue generated from advertising will be split evenly between Snapchat and the publisher responsible for creating the content.
The latest Snapchat feature continues the trend of social networks aiming to become ad-friendly content platforms. Also on Tuesday, Twitter expanded on its photo-sharing capabilities to include video-sharing. Users will now be able to shoot and post 30-second videos directly from the Twitter app that can be viewed without leaving the app. Twitter already has Vine, a standalone app for sharing six-second video clips, but the new Twitter videos will be considerably longer.
Snapchat and Twitter are looking to replicate the recent success Facebook has had with social video-sharing. Ever since Facebook introduced auto-playing videos on its News Feed last year, the number of videos viewed on the social network has skyrocketed to one billion views a day. This has placed Facebook in a position to be able to challenge YouTube, the long-standing king of online video.