Snapchat, a massive social media platform, recently introduced an important update to its app — the ability to browse news stories.
As users of Snapchat are generally ages 13-25, you may have begun to familiarize yourself with the different types of news coverage that this new feature provides. Essentially, you’ve been “added” by some of the country’s most popular media companies and given easy access to their daily updated content.
Keeping with the style of a Snapchat “story,” the content is only available 24 hours, and can be skipped through or entirely ignored. The user decides which news outlets to spend time with.
While other companies have attempted to merge news coverage with social media, such as Facebook, the relationship hasn’t really worked out. Your Facebook feed is a never-ending, unchronological, and an indirect representation of topics you may or may not want to read about — shared posts from friends, friends of friends. I don’t like the “Pretty Little Liars” season premiere plugs, or the promises of a beach body from a vitamin company’s new product … especially when more eye-opening news is available.
Choice is something millennials have become accustomed to. We should have this same selective mindset when we think about what news is important to us, because we are the ones who decided to start implementing digital sharing and instantaneous information in the way that has become so common with information.
With Snapchat’s “Discover,” 11 credible outlets including Vice, CNN and National Geographic provide concise and eye-catching content, neat and tidy in the upper right corner. With “Discover” you learn things you didn’t really know you wanted to know. In the same place you can see what your friend looks like today, you can also have the opportunity to know more about the world around you. You don’t have to try very hard to be informed, and that’s a positive when as students and young people, we have so many other obligations that take our time away — school, internships, work, friends, getting a raise, finding a career.
A real time saver, Snapchat has become different from other social media apps, creating an easygoing platform where you can engage, and be intrapersonal in your nonstop world.