Snapchat is giving the world a look at Mecca today with its first live story from Islam's holiest city. "Mecca live" is even trending on Twitter.
The push to get a Mecca story on Snapchat started last week after the app featured a story from the West Bank. Snapchat's Live Story feature lets users collaborate on sharing videos from specific places and events. Wimbledon, for instance, was an ongoing story with visitors to the tennis tournament posting videos.
Live programming in the messaging app has been known to generate millions of views for such events. The company boasts 2 billion video views a day, in all.
Mecca is of particular interest because the city is closed to non-Muslims, making Snapchat a place where outsiders can get an up-close peek at prayers there. So far this year, almost 15 million Muslims have traveled to the city during Ramadan.
There are no sponsors on the Mecca Live Story, but Snapchat has sold ads in other featured events. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Also, Snapchat today made a change to another section of the app, Discover, where select media partners post daily versions of their publications. Snapchat will start promoting Discover channels within the Live Story feed, too. Until now, Discover has been relegated to the back page of the app, and the move gives media partners like CNN, Cosmo and ESPN more prominent positions.
The Mecca Snapchat story is clearly resonating in social media, with the topic trending worldwide on Twitter. Here's a look: