Snaps go from nudes to news

New “Discover” feature taps into the journalism game

On Jan. 27, everybody’s favourite self-destructing photo messaging app, Snapchat, rolled out a brand new interface wherein users can receive news updates from their media outlets of choice.

When you go to the little list icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, you will see the familiar list of recent “stories” updates from your friends pop up, as usual. From that menu, find the little purple circle icon on the top right-hand side, which will lead you to the Discover menu.

Choose from CNN, MTV, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, Snapchat, Bleacher Report, Food Network, National Geographic, People, Vice, Fusion, and Yahoo! News. Touch and hold the icon of your choice, and a loop of “teaser” clips of a chosen daily headline will appear on your screen. Swipe down and Snapchat will lead you to the long form piece that goes along with the visual story at hand, complete with photos, links, and any other embedded media that might appear on the news site itself.

Continue swiping right to see more headline stories from that same source, or swipe left until you get back to the home screen.

Stories are curated by the editors of each outlet, not dictated through social media popularity, and are updated every 24 hours, which, Snapchat insists on their site, “puts the narrative first.” This, they urge, is not social media.

So, can the app we once used to send clandestine nudies and ugly photos of our double chins actually transition into a legitimate disseminator of news?

On one hand, it seems the next logical step that an app that most of us check upteen times a day to receive “news” from friends start giving us news of the broader world as well.

On the other hand, as a journalism student, I can’t help but shake my head and wonder what the hell kind of world we live in when your go-to for news is an app that until recently was reserved for compromising selfies.

In any case, it’s comforting to know that I can now consult Cosmo about their newest technique to please my man before sending that 10-second nude, all without quitting the app.

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