Snapchat to start automatically uploading news stories to its app

Snapchat trials automatically uploading news stories to its app

Snapchat has announced the launch of a new automated function that will immediately publish news content to its app as soon as it gets uploaded to a website.

The new Dynamic Stories function tracks data on its partners’ RSS feeds (lists of posts made to a website) to automatically create Snapchat Stories for the app’s Discover format based on the story using existing text and images.

Dynamic Stories has already begun testing with several outlets, including the Daily Mirror, The Washington Post, Conde Nast, The Independent and Vice, and claims to make building an audience on the app easier and more affordable for publishers.

In the first three months of testing Dynamic Stories, the Mirror built up an audience of more than 25,000 subscribers.

Ben Rankin, national audience director of Reach which owns the Mirror, told Press Gazette: “We are always trying new and innovative ways to open up our content to engage new audiences, and showcasing Mirror content through the Dynamic Stories function is an excellent way to keep the Snapchat community informed and up-to-date with breaking news at their fingertips, in a format that works for them.

“In the current world, well-researched, relevant and trusted journalism has never been more important, and it’s been great to see interest in our politics and showbiz content flourish as online audiences continually look for new ways to consume the content that matters to them.”

Director of strategic content partnerships at The Independent Sophie Hanbury said: “We’re delighted to extend Independent content through this new channel, which will help us to reach Snapchat’s younger audiences, who consume news in non-traditional ways.

“Our own Snapchat channels have been live since last year, so this partnership is the logical next step in working together and will help us continue to drive traffic to the Independent and Indy100 sites at the same time.”

The Washington Post reached more than 1.1 million people on the app in the first week of the war in Ukraine, French partner outlet Foot Mercato grew to more than 100,000 unique monthly viewers and is just short of 10,000 subscribers, and Indian partner Miss Malini saw more than 200,000 unique viewers on its content in the first 30 days of launch.

Snapchat will sell vertical video ads on Dynamic Stories and subsequently share some of the revenue with publishers, but it has not shared what that percentage split will be. Dynamic stories do not currently include video but there is a plan to add them in future.

The programme is now moving into a new stage where it is set to partner with more news publishers in more markets across the globe.

The full list of news publishers who have already partnered with Snapchat to trial the Dynamic Stories feature is:

  • British Vogue (UK)
  • GQ (UK)
  • Pink News (UK)
  • The Independent (UK)
  • The Daily Mirror (UK)
  • Axios (US)
  • Bloomberg (US)
  • BuzzFeed (US)
  • CNN (US)
  • Complex Networks (US)
  • Condé Nast (Self, Vogue) (US)
  • ESPN (US)
  • Insider (US)
  • New York Post and Page Six (US)
  • The Wall Street Journal (US)
  • The Washington Post (US)
  • TMZ (US)
  • Tom’s Guide (US)
  • Vice (US)
  • Femme Actuelle (France)
  • Foot Mercato (France)
  • Gala (France)
  • GQ (France)
  • Le Figaro (France)
  • Marie Claire (France)
  • Paris Match (France)
  • Vogue (France)
  • GQ (India)
  • Miss Malini (India)
  • Pinkvilla (India)
  • Sportskeeda (India)
  • The Quint (India)
  • Times Now (India)
  • Vogue (India)

Unlike other social media companies, Snapchat does not offer its users an unmoderated news feed where any group or user can post unverified news stories, meaning it keeps strict control over the content it publicises among users.

Several established news publishers have seen increasing success on Snapchat since it launched its Discover tab in 2018. At Sky News, the Sky News daily page has 1.41m followers, while the Sky News Investigates show has some 715,000 followers and was recently shortlisted for the Royal Television Society’s Digital Award.

Channel 4’s Fact Check service recently told Press Gazette that it had gained 120,000 new followers on the platform from just one video explaining why Russia had invaded Ukraine.

Other outlets have shied away from making a big commitment to the app, including BBC News which told Press Gazette in January it had chosen not to be on Tiktok or Snapchat because it has to stay “true to our brand” and not do light news, while it did not have the resources to create the bespoke content needed. BBC News has since joined Tiktok.

Picture: Snapchat

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