The New York Times crosses over to Snapchat Discover
- The New York Times announced it's launched a Snapchat Discover page in a company news post on Monday. The publisher has been using Snapchat's Stories feature for two years, where it's seen success with visually-driven content like an Electoral College explainer illustrated via M&M's.
- The Times Discover page, which runs Monday through Friday in a daily edition, features news items from across coverage areas that are condensed and given a stronger video and photo focus, according to TechCrunch. A "Five Things" feature quickly summarizes the top five stories of the day in a list and a version of the publisher's signature crossword puzzles called the "Daily Mini" is also available to play.
- The New York Times said 37% of its 125 million monthly cross-platform readers are in Snapchat's core audience range of 18- to 34-year-olds, per TechCrunch.
Publishers are looking for new ways to reach young readers on mobile, and Snapchat continues to be attractive thanks to a highly engaged, youth-centric user base. The New York Times joins a number of other legacy titles, including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and The Washington Post, in having a dedicated Discover page.
For newspapers like the Post and Journal — and for more literary publications like The Economist — Snapchat content offers a potential channel to pique younger readers' interest via content with a lighter multimedia and interactive focus. As those readers mature, they might graduate to more text-heavy print and digital subscriptions.
This strategy is encapsulated in the Times' inclusion of a simplistic but still fun iteration of its crossword puzzles — often quite difficult in the print versions — which can be drawn on and shared with friends on Snapchat, per TechCrunch.
Snapchat has weathered some rocky patches following parent company Snap Inc.'s initial public offering of stock at the beginning of March, but industry reports suggest teens and millennials still love the platform, which means more publishers and brands are still signing on. Success Communications Group surveyed U.S. high school and college students and found over half of respondents were on Snapchat at least 11 times per day and that they regularly engage with the app more often than any other social platforms.
Snapchat users have the option to subscribe to the Times Discover edition in what's likely an effort to capture some of that high-return audience.
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