Snapchat combines the best of social networks, magazines, and television in a redesign of its omni-entertainment app.
You’ll now see image and headline previews of the content inside Discover channels and Live stories on the Stories page, instead of just logos for the publishers or events they capture. The Discover page now features a Pinterest-style mason grid of tiles, while the Stories page now combines the two rows of static Discover channels and Live Stories into one scrollable row of non-friend content.
Snapchat’s Stories page, with the old version on the left and the new version on the right
Also, instead of having to dig your favorite Discover channels out of the whole list, you can now tap-and-hold to subscribe to them so they always appear amongst the Recent Stories from accounts you’ve added, unless you later unsubscribe. This gives publishers like Tastemade and IGN an extra call to action to bake into their Discover channels and marketing.
The goal here is to make professionally-made and community-curated content just as attractive as what friends share on the app. Previously, Discover channels felt bolted on to the experience, and can seem overly polished compared to Stories from friends that are fascinating despite flaws. VentureBeat and Recode previously reported that changes to the Discover page were coming.
Tapping-and-holding on a Discover channel lets you Subscribe so you always see it on your Stories page
The Discover redesign should make building the channels more lucrative for publishers. Without any dynamic previews, the channel buttons looked the same every day and weren’t very enticing. That might have reduced the potential viewership for the channels that cost brands a lot to both produce and rent the space from Snapchat.
But with eye-catching peeks at what’s inside, users might be more willing to click-through and watch the combination of videos, text articles, images, and ads featured within Discover channels.
Snapchat’s Discover page, with the old version on the left and the new version on the right
Since Snapchat splits the ad revenue from inside Discover channels with their publishers, it stands to earn money from driving them more viewership. But if it’s not careful, it could overrun user generated content with top-down Discover channels, making the app feel more like a billboard than a community.