Snapchat is expanding the scope of its popular Our Stories feature, allowing major media companies to draw upon users’ publicly submitted videos to curate their own “stories.”
The social media company is handing the “Our Stories” tools to some 20 partners, including leading newsrooms like CNN and NBC News, newer digital brands like Overtime, The Infatuation, and Group Nine’s NowThis, and longtime partners like Hearst.
These media partners will be able to weave user-submitted videos into their own stories, and add context through graphics or text. In the case of a major news event, like Hurricane Florence bearing down on the mid-Atlantic states, media partners could build stories from Snapchatters’ first-hand accounts.
“This new curation tool allows us the opportunity to lean even more heavily into what we do best — being part of the conversation and telling authentic stories that resonate deeply with young people,” said Ben Lerer, CEO of Group Nine Media.
Snapchat introduced Our Stories in early 2015, as a new form of community storytelling. It was designed to take advantage of the internet-connected cameras at the center of the app to gather eyewitness-video accounts of events, places, or themes.
While traditional media can feel “produced,” Our Stories offer a more unfiltered, ground-level perspective from Snapchatters. It’s proven to be a popular feature (popular enough for Facebook to emulate “Stories” on its own platform). In the past month, over 75 million people have watched Our Story content on Discover.
Snapchat will provide its partner the tools to create Our Stories, including the ability to source publicly submitted video and photo Snaps, and add editorial context to finalize an Our Story. Some partners will also leverage their networks of talent to create and submit Snaps.
Media partners also will be able to monetize this content right from the start. Snap said it will share the revenue from the content its partners produce.
Snapchat expects Our Stories to live outside the app. They can be embedded on websites and social channels.