How publishers are using Snapchat’s curated stories tool for breaking news and more

As reports emerged of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, CNN’s social discovery team turned to Snapchat to check what photos and videos they could find from the scene as it unfolded. On Monday, CNN’s Snapchat edition featured sixteen videos showing totally different views of the fire at Notre Dame. The team additionally added text and graphics to explain the scene, like the very fact the cathedral attracts 13 million guests a year.


“What was so crucial for Notre Dame is we got it up really quickly. We knew it would be such a story for this audience that so key on visuals,” said Justin Lear, director of social discovery at CNN.


CNN is one of about two dozen firms that have access to Snapchat’s Curated Our Stories, a product discharged last September where media outlets can seek for public posts on Snapchat and curate them for a themed edition on Snapchat Discover. Whereas CNN declined to reveal specific viewership numbers for its Notre Dame story, it said its numerous editions vary from 5 million to 20 million viewers.


Since its launch last September, Snapchat’s Our Stories have offered publishers a brand new and simple way to participate in the platform, participants say. In fact, the merchandise brought CNN, which had close up its original publisher edition turned Snapchat Show in December 2017, back to discover. Over 60% of its total audience is below age 25, said Ashley Codianni, executive producer of social and emerging media.


“CNN is similar with breaking news; it’s vital to supply that to every audience and on the platforms that they’re on. it’s a worthy endeavor for us participate because of that under 25 audience and, generally speaking, if we didn’t see the good thing about audience engagement or the audience in the least we wouldn’t invest the time,” Codianni said.


The editions are all ad-supported, sold through Snap’s sales team, with revenue sharing back to the publisher. And with content sourced and provided by Snapchat’s platform, the effort also can be more cost-efficient. Discover partners like Bleacher Report, which quietly stopped manufacturing its daily edition on Snapchat as of December, had employed an11-person team for their channel back in 2016.

Meanwhile, CNN doesn’t tout a selected range of individuals performing on their edition. The corporate pulls from Lear’s social team, which works across Twitter and other platforms. CNN’s previous editions had needed support from designers and animators together with writers and editors. Another one of the tool’s launch partners Wave, a sports media company, has only one person dedicated to its stories channel.


Curated Our Stories don’t seem to be only for breaking news moments. CNN has created weekend editions titled “5 things you can’t miss from this week” and editions around tech, luxury and style. Other partners use the tool for comedic or life style content. Wave creates themed editions around specific activities like shouting “Kobe” once throwing something into a trash can.