Since January, a section of the popular social media app Snapchat has been filled with articles and video from publishers such as the Daily Mail, Food Network and People magazine.
But after reading or watching something, the experience just ended. There was no way to forward content on to someone or link to it elsewhere. Snapchat is starting to fix that, announcing Tuesday an update to its app that lets users annotate and share content from Discover to fellow users.
It’s an improvement that media companies involved in Discover have been anxiously waiting for, though it stops short of allowing the content to be easily shared on competing platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
While Snapchat can tell content providers that readership on Discover peaked at millions of people, it can be unclear whether people actually enjoyed what they looked at. The number of times something is shared will add a new data point to the discussion and could bring more Snapchat users to Discover.
Media companies see Discover not just as a path to reach a new, younger audience, but also as another opportunity to make money. For instance, last week Chevrolet ran advertising on ESPN’s Discover page.
To share something from Discover, users press down on the screen. That pulls up icons that can be tapped to add a note or scribbling. Then, they select the desired recipients and fire it off. On the other end, viewers can click a bar that links back to the original piece of content.
The update is Snapchat’s second move this week aimed at expanding the audience for its services. On Monday, Snapchat unveiled a website where people can download images of their “Snapcode.” The image can be placed on a business card, a poster or elsewhere. When scanned using Snapchat, that user is added as a contact in the app.
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