- Snapchat is asking student newspapers to create campus editions for its Discover section, which already includes large outlets like BuzzFeed and The New York Times.
- The stories will be visible to Snapchat users located near each respective campus.
- Like larger publishers, participating student newspapers will be able to monetise their efforts by sharing revenue from video ads with Snapchat.
Snapchat is tapping college newspapers to make campus stories for students, the company announced on Friday.
A handful of colleges across the US will begin publishing stories this weekend in the app’s dedicated section for publishers. Schools participating in the initiative include Berkeley, Texas A&M, Syracuse, and The University of Wisconsin — Madison.
Business Insider first reported that Snapchat was partnering with college newspapers last month.
The initiative marks the first time that Snapchat has opened up its publisher section to less established media companies. The section currently features daily articles and videos tailored for Snapchat’s vertical video format from the likes of The Daily Mail, BuzzFeed, Vice, and The New York Times.
The move also capitalises on Snapchat’s youthful user base. Parent company Snap Inc. has disclosed that its users younger than 25 years old spend an average of 40 minutes in the app per day, and that 36% of its 173 million users are between the ages of 18 and 24.
By partnering with college newspapers, Snapchat is furthering its goal of becoming a destination for consuming news. A recent ORC International study commissioned by Snap found that 47% of students see their college newspapers as the primary way of learning about news on campus.
Make students feel ‘in on the joke’
For The University of Wisconsin — Madison’s student paper, The Daily Badger, editor in chief Alice Vagun told Business Insider that she expects a “flood” of students to be interested in helping put together their weekly Snapchat edition. She said the paper has already appointed a dedicated Snapchat editor and brought on a couple of part-time animators to create graphics.
The Daily Badger’s Snapchat stories will be a mix of repurposed stories from the newspaper along with exclusive content for Snapchat. The publication has been working with Snap for months to develop the right kind of content that encourages students to screenshot or share stories with their friends in the app, according to Vagun.
“Something they really stressed was to create content that made people feel like they were in on the joke or part of the campus community,” she said of her meetings with Snap employees.
While college stories like The Daily Badger’s will only be visible to Snapchat users within a few blocks of each respective campus, each student publication will be able to share a yellow QR “Snapcode” that people located outside of the campus can scan with Snapchat’s camera to view the stories.
Snap will monetise its college editions by sharing ad revenue with the school or the student publication, a spokesperson said. The company paid $US58 million to publisher partners last year and shares ad revenue with most of them as well.
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