A New Voice for Young Reporters: Snapchat Adds College Newspapers

Snapchat is adding more voices to their growing platform by including college newspapers.

The feature will be called the “Campus Publisher Story;” users will find it in the “Discover”section of Snapchat. The stories will look similar to the magazine-style editions that already exist on websites like Buzzfeed.

Snapchat found that college newspaper stories “play a critical role in informing and entertaining their campus communities,” according to a Snapchat press release.

The press release also said that this new feature will also be good for the college newspapers themselves as,“stories will feature Snap Ads to help each school monetize and grow their newspaper through a revenue sharing agreement.”

Sixteen percent of college newspaper readers prefer reading their local and college news online, a New York Times article noted. The 49 percent of students who have read their college publication online in the past week spend an average of 10.9 minutes reading it, according to a re:fuel resource survey.

The news comes after Snapchat tested the feature at various universities including UCLA, Dartmouth, Stanford and the University of Washington last semester and found positive results.  

Aparna Verma, Managing Editor of Multimedia at The Stanford Daily, talked about this type of college newspaper content in an interview with Mediafile: “The edition we created for Snapchat was an amalgam of different sections of our newspaper. We included stories from our sports section, articles from our news section as well as aspects from student life. Overall, our team enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to future projects.”

Snapchat is already a platform for youth as a recent survey found most of the Snapchat’s users are of under 25, and  each user spends an average of 40 minutes on Snapchat a day.

And the Snapchat Discover feature is getting more popular as well. Usage of this specific section of the platform increased from 17 percent to 29 percent in the past year, according to a Pew Research Center study.

 

This expansion of college news has potential to broaden the reach of college newspapers and encourage larger readership of student work.

College campus newspaper writers, like Verma from the Stanford Daily, remain hopeful about this new way to spread their message.

“We hope that by delivering our content on Snapchat, more students will become interested in the project and will apply to be a part of the team,” Verma said. “It is an evolving platform where we can experiment with multimedia and journalism, and that’s an exciting prospect.”

As Snapchat adds Campus Publisher stories to their Discover page, the influence of college newspapers will be become more widespread through Snapchat’s revolutionary platform targeted at millennials.

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