Snapchat is teaming with two dozen media partners to let them package together publicly shared user posts into curated segments — and make money from them.
The initial Snap-approved partners for the Curated Our Stories program span the gamut from traditional news orgs like CNN and NBC News; digital brands like Group Nine’s NowThis and The Dodo, Refinery29, and Mic; existing partners like Viacom, iHeartMedia, Vice Media and Hearst (Cosmo and Harper’s Bazaar); emerging content companies like high-school sports media startup Overtime and The Infatuation; and viral-content aggregators like Jukin Media and LADbible.
Those partners will be able to stitch together publicly submitted content from Snapchat users into Stories about events, places or themes, with editorial wrapped around them. Snap plans to run ads in the partner-curated Our Stories and split that revenue for the Stories they produce. The first Curated Our Stories will begin showing up in the next few weeks.
Snapchat users create over 3 billion Snaps each day — but only a fraction of those are shared publicly. The new partner-curated Stories are an extension of Our Stories, which Snapchat launched in early 2015. That content, which is assembled by Snap’s in-house editorial team, has proven very popular: In the past month, over 75 million people have watched Our Stories on Snapchat’s Discover.
The goal with the new Curated Our Stories partners is to expand the volume and variety of content available in Discover. Snap will provide tools to create the Stories, including the ability to source publicly submitted video and photo Snaps as well as add editorial elements like graphics and text.
As with Our Stories, Snapchat users whose public posts are aggregated and monetized won’t receive a cut of the ad revenue directly (although some of Snap’s media partners plan to incorporate content from affiliated talent and influencers for their curated Our Stories).
The new curated Our Stories initiative is being overseen by Rahul Chopra, head of Stories Everywhere at Snap. He’s the former CEO of News Corp’s Storyful social-analytics unit who joined Snap in December 2017.
The impetus behind letting third parties like CNN, Viacom and Hearst tap into Snapchatters’ content came out of Snap’s Stories Everywhere launch earlier this year. That lets select Stories be shared on the web and make them searchable (although the web-based embeddable Stories don’t currently carry ads). The No. 1 request from media partners using Stories Everywhere was to have Snap open up public posts so they could curate their own user-generated packages.
Here’s a full list of launch partners for Snapchat’s Curated Our Stories program: Brut, CNN, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, Daquan, The Dodo, Harper’s Bazaar, iHeartMedia, The Infatuation, Jukin Media, LADbible, Love Stories TV, Mic, NBC News and “Today” show, NBC Sports, New York Post, NowThis, Overtime, Refinery29, Telemundo, The Tab, Viacom, Vice Media, Wave.TV and Whalar.
Snap is hoping partners create compelling curated collections. Popular Our Stories have included the surprise hit series Oddly Satisfying, as well as Tattoo Regrets, posts about the Hajj to Mecca, and user submissions about the NFL.