- Snap has signed up British website PinkNews as its first LGBT partner on Snapchat Discover.
- PinkNews will go live on Wednesday on Snapchat and aims to appeal to a young audience which is testing the boundaries of their sexuality.
- PinkNews CEO Benjamin Cohen told Business Insider said diversifying away from Facebook is important – both in terms of readership and revenue.
- The website has also received a near-$US350,000 grant from Google.
Snap has signed up its first LGBT partner for Snapchat Discover – the UK-based website PinkNews.
PinkNews will launch on Wednesday for Snapchat’s 191 million daily users, as the social networking app broadens its range of publishing partners and makes Discover more appealing to different kinds of people.
While Snapchat Discover has served up LGBT content in the past, it has not had a dedicated channel. PinkNews has around 5 million monthly unique readers, with a big audience in both the UK and US.
Rami Saad, who helps look after content partnerships at Snap, said: “We’re always working to ensure content on Snapchat is as diverse as our community. Access to a variety of perspectives is important, and we know that Snapchatters will resonate with PinkNews.”
Benjamin Cohen, the CEO and editor-in-chief of PinkNews, said the website has been working to get on Snapchat Discover since 2015. It wants to connect to a new, younger generation of readers testing the boundaries of their sexuality. He also wants to diversify PinkNews’ audience away from Facebook.
“We’ve seen our Facebook traffic decline, in common with a lot of publishers,” Cohen told Business Insider. “And we wanted to work with a social platform that is actually willing to pay publishers. We’re doing a revenue share [with Snap], we’re going to make money from creating this content.”
He added: “It’s also great, frankly, to be dealing with humans. Some other platforms, it’s really hard to speak to an individual. Discover is a curated platform, where their editorial team is taking an interest and contributing to your thoughts about what’s going to work.”
Cohen said creating Snapchat stories has been a completely different discipline for staff and the company is currently recruiting to help with the Discover channel and broader growth. Four people are currently dedicated to Snapchat content.
The channel will update twice a week with thought-provoking stories, which will aim to reach beyond the LGBT community, such as the story of an American who survived gay conversion therapy. It will be “mid-Atlantic” in tone, according to Cohen, eschewing esoteric stories in the UK and US in favour of broad, globally relevant content.
“It’s a very different editorial process. You need to invest in after-effects and graphic designers. It’s been a real learning curve,” Cohen said, adding that the channel will update daily once more staff are in place.
PinkNews is also one of a number of publishers to receive a Google Digital News Innovation Fund grant, Google announced on Tuesday. The €299,338 (£266,966/$US349,855) of funding will be used to build an “advocacy platform,” which will connect PinkNews readers with LGBT causes and charities around the world.
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