How Snapchat is Beating Facebook, Twitter and Others in the News Game

Before reading my post below, you have to read this first by Paul Gillin of Biznology (thanks to my good friend Christin Kardos for finding and sharing it since this is what spurred my take).

The article above has some much higher level themes going on than I will discuss here. For the purpose of this the focus will be on the aspect that discusses news and mainstream media as a whole.

We are at a crossroads currently between the decline of traditional news outlets and the rise of social media as a reporting/news tool. For various reasons, old news is….well its old news, and the future sure looks like it will arrive (or already has?) with a heavy dose of tweets, snaps and live streams.

IMG_5748Everyone that knows me knows that I guzzle the Snapchat kool-aid, but for good reason as Snapchat is the only one of the top social media apps or platforms that have an actual, fully-dedicated news division as part of their company (launched over a YEAR ago, way ahead of the curve).

Could it be described as having pieces of “The Daily Show” mixed with a little  bit of “Parts Unknown”? Ok, maybe…BUT that doesn’t mean that the content they’re putting out isn’t relevant, accurate, or more importantly…effective.

Former CNN reporter Peter Hamby was hired away to head up the division and, if you watch their regularIMG_4365Good Luck America” stories, you know that those are:

  • Slickly-produced yet well-informed
  • Aimed at their largest current audience (older millennials on down)
  • Feeding the news in a more relatable yet accurate and informative manner than many of the traditional media outlets


Facebook is trying to do news mainly through crowd-sourcing, trending topics, and forcing publishers to use their platform. Now through the use of live video (the majority of which is still technically done by the media, externally, and not BY Facebook themselves) there is certainly more of a “newsy” feel, like the platform is keeping you up-to-date, but not in the same, true real-time way that Twitter (and its live video platform Periscope) does. LinkedIn has no real news plan other than “Influencers” but none of us will be surprised if they’re the last to arrival to the live streaming video party.

It’s telling that the one channel utilizing its power in a meaningful way (Snapchat) for news is also the fastest growing and highest viewed in terms of videos on a daily basis.

There is a TON of opportunity for live news and reporting to explode through the use of livecasting, snapping and social media in general. Suffice it to say that it was prescient on Snapchat’s part to institute an official News division a year ahead of what has become the most discussed and controversial presidential campaign of all time. ( I don’t attribute it all to luck, although some of it was certainly fortuitous.)3

The more forward-thinking reporters and media-types will join Hamby in the snapping, live streaming world sooner rather than later. Even if they don’t end up running Facebook’s or Twitter’s news divisions, there is room for the good ones to have their OWN presence that could lead to personally developed (and monetized) audiences for each of them. I really do believe that the outlook for our news-gathering and reporting is extremely bright.


Now I’m just waiting for Snapchat to follow up with a Pokemon GO division.

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