Taking a further step from a simple messaging app, Snapchat added Discover, a way for brands and news outlets to connect with users outside of the app’s normal limitations.

“I think it’s cool and it makes the app more versatile. The ESPN channel is my favorite. I’m a basketball guy,” junior Aaron Collier said.

Discover displays an iPhone like layout of different channels from sources like CNN, Food Network, ESPN, Comedy Central, Vice and National Geographic among others. Located one swipe away from the stories section, the new feature offers users a variety of content that was not previously available in Snapchat.

“[Discover] is convenient because it shows you what is going on with your favorite channels [all in one place],” freshman Abigail Smith said.

Tapping on an icon brings one into a series of video previews. Once one swipes up, a the full video or article is displayed. Each channel offers a handful of videos and articles that are switched out daily keeping the section fresh, relevant and, most importantly, temporary, a key theme across all features of the app.

While the feature is interesting, it’s true potential will be tapped once Snapchat opens the feature to all major news and content outlets, and possibly even celebrities. While celebrities are increasingly using the service once meant for quick personal connections between friends, Discover could be a smart way to offer them increased exposure.

The update removed best friends, a list of users top friends they have sent snapchats too. While to some this feature was minor, to those who used it to monitor their significant other’s behavior on the service, it has outshined the addition of Snapchat’s flagship new feature. The feature was removed because of privacy concerns of high profile users, and will be reimplemented in a way that addresses these concerns.

While best friends is causing more controversy now, Discover is a potential game changer for Snapchat, a company valued at $10 billion without any form of revenue. This feature could offer the company profit while drawing users further in with the additional layer of functionality and content.


By Thomas McDonald

Web Editor in Chief

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