The News: A new update to Snapchat essentially combines Discover – the section of the app with stories from select publishers who are there because of their clout and ability to sell ads against those stories – and Live Stories, the collections your friends put together of their epic night clubbing. The idea seems to be that by placing Discover next to updates from friends, those brand name stories will appear more attractive, at least to the point of giving them a try. Discover publishers also have the ability to add mini headlines and custom images to create more appeal. Finally, Snapchat is adding a “Subscribe” button to Discover that will let people opt in to receive new stories from a publisher in their Recent Updates section.

snapchat-redesign-hed-2016

PNConnect Insight: And so the evolution of Snapchat continues. The app continues to align more and more of not only its own resources but also the user experience around promoting publishing brands. If that sounds familiar it’s because it’s the same playbook Facebook, Twitter and other networks/apps have used in the past. Each instance has meant something different for both publishers and audiences since the playing field changes with each adjustment.

The change is driven in large part because those Discover ads that publishers sell are a major source of revenue for Snapchat. So it’s in their best interest to drive more eyeballs to what publishers are posting there.

Even through brand publishers can’t (yet, just wait until Snapchat figures out how to monetize it) participate in Discover there are still aspects of this update they can watch for. Specifically, the better placement for Live Stories means if they are posting those kind of Stories from events or other moments they should be more visible to the fans who are following Snaps.

More than that, even, if past is prologue then we can expect some of the features currently being introduced for Discover publishers to eventually make their way to brands. This is something Snapchat hasn’t done yet but it’s hard to believe it won’t see money in creating a Business-level account at some point.