Snapchat becomes a news discovery platform in today’s big update, & here’s a quick preview [VIDEO]


Snapchat started off as a simple social network for sharing one-off photos and video between friends and family, but like any successful social platform they want it to grow into something much bigger. That’s why they’ve introduced a new Discover tab in today’s big update.

The Discover tab will be a gateway to news-driven “Snapchat stories.” In typical Snapchat fashion each story is represented by a telling photo, and swiping up on that photo will take you to a video or a text article to get deeper into it. Stories are gathered from a sizable list of popular sources such as CNN, ESPN and the National Geographic, or you can dive into Snapchat’s own channel for random stories that they think will interest the masses.

snapchat update 2

This is the first big move Snapchat has made to grow its platform from a simple photo sharing tool into something people can use as a daily resource. It’d be natural for anyone to feel overwhelmed with such a big addition, but that shouldn’t be an issue as the Discover tab is tucked a couple of swipes away from your friends’ feeds and stories and never to be seen if you don’t want to use it.

What people will and do have a problem with (as evidenced by a heap of negative reviews over at Google Play) is the sweeping change that was made to your friends’ list. You no longer get a traditional list of every buddy you’ve added by swiping to the right. Instead, Snapchat will only list any new stories from those buddies.

You do still get a typical friends’ list view if you tap the Snapchat icon while on the camera view and select “My Contacts” so it’s not nearly as bad as people are making it out to be, it’s just not as convenient as it used to be.

snapchat update 1

Oh, and you see that yellow Snapchat icon at the top of Joe’s profile information there? Other people can scan that using Snapchat on their own phones and it will add Joe to their friends’ list. Neat, huh?

There will always be a heavy negative response to changes from the norm, but like everything else we will likely come to tolerate them and get used to them the more we use the app. You can find a quick video demo of the app in action above, and download it from the Google Play Store to give the new features a spin for yourself. Let us know how you feel about it in the comments below.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I’m starting to suspect the word *FEATURED* Discoveries is going to be coming to an update near you.

    Well except me because I don’t use it.

  2. I hate this… it turns a lightweight messaging app into a video magazine rack of sorts? Incredibly dumb in my opinion. This should be a separate app (but then how would they leverage all their users?) … Snapchat just opened the door for a competitor to eat their lunch.

    1. or….*SPONSORED SNAP* featured by the NBA or a celebrity like Taylor Swift. Seems like this app is becoming a market for the highest bidder of who wants to consume your screen space. In other words. Facebook.

    2. I realized after a while snapchat is pretty pointless overall anyway.

      1. Unless you’re planning to have a gf…

        It’s kind of necessary then.

  3. Discovery might be okay, but they have collected the very worst content providers. Sites like The Daily Mail, filled with hate and envy, and vapid snoozefests like People and Food Network. I would give Vice a chance, but they blew it with a clip of a naked guy on tiny island. Absolutely pointless. Way to kill a brand.

  4. Whenever they are using on the backend is shockingly good it loads pretty much instantly and seemed pretty high quality the ads haven’t been too bad so far the only one I’ve seen is a Stride Gum ad that’s just one page you have to swipe past

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