Snapchat is testing out a new option which would enable users to share its premium content offerings - like original shows and content from Discover partners - outside the app, potentially facilitating exposure and reach to a much broader audience.
Back in 2018, Snapchat added the capacity to share certain types of Stories outside of app through embeds or link shares. At that time, the option was limited to Official Stories, created by celebrities and influencers, and Our Stories, which are curated by Snapchat’s in-house team.
But now, Snapchat is also looking to expand the same functionality to its premium Discover content.
As reported by Axios:
"The update will allow Snapchat users to share "Snap Originals," "Shows" and "Publisher Stories" with their friends off the platform using easily shareable links."
Similar to other platform embeds, these links, when shared via other social media sites, or via message, would take users back to watch the videos in the Snapchat app "or to a web or mobile web-viewing experience".
Here's an example of how the current Snap video links are displayed on desktop.
The vertical format is not ideal for desktop viewing, but the expansion of sharing options for Snap content will, as noted, open up new avenues for content exposure, which could help to bring more users to the app.
Snapchat, at latest report, is currently serving 238 million daily active users, and has steadily increased its usage over the past year. Part of Snapchat's more recent focus has been on making its platform more accessible via simplified UI updates and more intuitive search options, which is a significant departure from the app's previous approach, which included making the app somewhat difficult to use by design, in order to maintain a level of exclusivity.
But as the platform has become more business-focused, it's realized the need to make its app more welcoming, and the expansion of that ethos to its premium content could have significant implications, given the popularity of its premium Discover content.
In October last year, Snapchat reported that total daily time spent watching its Discover content had increased 40% YoY, while more than 100 of its Discover channels were reaching, on average, audiences "in the double-digit millions per month". During the COVID-19 pandemic, those numbers have increased even further, with Snap's short, vertically-aligned presentation style aligning with younger audiences in particular.
Given this, the capacity to share the same via other means could help Snapchat attract a lot more viewers, and those viewers could then go on to become regular users of the app. As such, the change makes logical sense, but it's worth noting the expansion of Snapchat's approach in this respect, and considering what it may mean for the future growth of the platform.
In addition to this, Axios also reports that Snapchat is looking to refine its 'For You' recommended content feed to also showcase more content from across the app.