Snapchat Makes Publicly Shared Snaps Available via News Discovery Platforms

Agreements with NewsWhip, Storyful, SAM Desk and Tagboard were announced

SAM Desk is one of four news discovery platforms that reached an agreement with Snapchat. SAM Desk

Snap Inc. is granting free access to publicly shared Snapchat content to four news discovery platforms—NewsWhip, Storyful, SAM Desk and Tagboard—in its latest move to make content from its users available outside of its messaging application.

The company reported 191 million daily users in its first-quarter earnings release, and a spokesperson said the news discovery partnerships represent the next step in exposing its content to non-users.

NewsWhip, Storyful, SAM Desk and Tagboard can now use Snapchat’s Story Kit integration to access and distribute publicly shared Snapchat content to news organizations that use their respective platforms. Content from the messaging app will be searchable within each platform, enabling journalists to save searches for future use.

NewsWhip tracks hundreds of millions of news stories, articles and social posts in more than 100 countries for over 500 clients, including the Associated Press, The Washington Post, Vice, Al Jazeera, IBM, Hearst, Mastercard and Reebok.

Chief revenue officer Brett Lofgren said there was a gap in what NewsWhip was doing and “Snapchat, for us, was the missing ingredient,” adding that his company spent 12 months trying to cement its relationship with Snap, and Rahul Chopra, the former Storyful CEO leading the Stories Everywhere push, was the driving force.

NewsWhip chief product officer Dervilla Mullan added that it is “exciting for the non-Snap audience to start seeing Snap content in their more traditional media,” noting that “a lot of snaps will have text captions included in them so we can track a trend and see how it develops differently on Snapchat versus other networks. This is a very powerful way of embedding rich media into a text-based article. To be able to embed snap video makes articles much more engaging and powerful.”

News Corp.’s Storyful division serves media companies including ABC, The Wall Street Journal, NHK, The Washington Post, Euronews and Al Jazeera Doha, and its discovery tools already process public data from platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr and Reddit for use by video newsrooms globally.

Storyful CEO Sharb Farjami said, “Adding Snap strengthens our ability to deliver the investigative research and video that our partners need so that they can report on breaking news and global trends with speed and accuracy.”

"This is a very powerful way of embedding rich media into a text-based article. To be able to embed snap video makes articles much more engaging and powerful.”
—Dervilla Mullan, NewsWhip chief product officer

Used in newsrooms such as those of The New York Times, BBC, AP, Bloomberg and Reuters, SAM Desk is an artificial intelligence engine that taps into social media data to detect breaking news within minutes of occurrence.

The company said in a blog post announcing its partnership with Snapchat, “Our team has been closely monitoring and benchmarking snaps over the past five months (since the launch of Snap Maps on the web). In many cases, we’re finding a unique and direct point of view on Snapchat that no other platform has—Snapchat is fast, raw and in the moment. Secondly, and most promising for our system, we’ve noticed that snaps are increasingly providing the first mention of a potential news event or major disruption.”

Tagboard counts media companies, sports organizations and major global brands among its clients, and chief revenue officer Nathan Peterson shared some “powerful use cases” from his company’s already existing relationship with Snapchat, including Telemundo’s coverage of the presidential election in Mexico earlier this month, Tegna’s coverage of some 40 March for Our Lives demonstrations in March and April’s fatal shooting at YouTube’s headquarters.

Peterson said of the ability to quickly add Snaps to coverage, “There’s something to be said for the raw, in-the-moment, getting context in real-time. (News organizations are) showing a more powerful story through the raw content they’re experiencing.”

He added that for Tegna’s March for Our Lives coverage, it would have been “pretty cost-inefficient to send trucks to every location,” and on the shooting at YouTube, Tagboard was able to surface content from the Google-owned video site’s campus directly through Snap Map, using Snapchat’s hyper-local geolocation, and get that content live on Tagboard for Tegna’s stations “in a matter of minutes.”

Snapchat introduced Snap Map in June 2017 as a way for users who opt-in to location sharing to share snaps that they submitted to Our Stories. Snap Map also features a heat-like feature to alert users when many snaps are being taken and submitted to Our Story from a specific area, likely indicating that some sort of event was occurring.

In January, the messaging app added a Stories Everywhere button, enabling users to share Stories via Facebook, Twitter, email and text message. And Snap Kit, which debuted last month, is a set of four application programming interfaces that enable developers to incorporate parts of the Snapchat experience into their own apps.

Chopra summed up Snapchat’s view of the initiative in a statement, “These new distribution partnerships will build on existing initiatives Snap has been working on in recent months to bring this content into the world and better support the needs of media organizations who want to use it.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.