Snapchat booted Yahoo off of its “Discover” feature because the company couldn’t figure out how to connect with Snapchat’s younger demographic, Fast Company reports.
Yahoo was originally included as one of Snapchat’s first 12 “Discover” channels, Snapchat’s take on providing its users with news content from outside media partners. The other partners spanned from Vice to CNN to National Geographic.
Stories on Discover last for 24 hours before disappearing, and are part of Snapchat’s larger move to rethink the idea of how to present the news to its users, 45% of whom are of 18 to 24 years old, according to comScore.
Why did Snapchat initially think Yahoo could capture the interest of its audience?
The answer seems to be the faith Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel had in Yahoo News anchor, Katie Couric, Fast Company reports. But in the end, Couric failed to deliver, with most Yahoo content feeling woefully out of touch with its millennial userbase.
Fast Company’s Austin Carr writes:
In Yahoo’s case, Spiegel kicked off the relationship directly with Katie Couric, but its global news anchor ended up being part of the problem. Most Yahoo content opened like an old-school news broadcast, with Couric sitting at a desk, reading into the camera, followed by a long cut to the Yahoo logo. Kids couldn’t tune out fast enough.
It should also be noted that Yahoo invested in Snapchat last year, in a round that valued Snapchat at $US10 billion.
Snapchat let Yahoo know its content was tanking, but didn’t offer much detail on the analytics, according to Fast Company. This suggests that Snapchat didn’t see much hope that Yahoo could fix the issue.
Snapchat isn’t the only one who doubts Yahoo is capable of fixing the problems it’s facing. Recently there have been a string of high-profile Yahoo executives jumping ship. On Monday, Square announced it was hiring Yahoo’s development chief, Jacqueline Reses, away from Yahoo. Reses was one of CEO Marissa Mayer’s closest and most important executives.
Re/code reports that many inside Yahoo are worried about the direction of the company moving forward, especially related to reviving its core business, and that this could be driving the defections.
Analysts and investors have floated drastic ideas to turn around the company, including a plan to turn Yahoo into a streaming company like Netflix. But if Yahoo can’t figure out how to cater to a younger audience, any future that involves content creation will be an uphill battle.
Contrast Yahoo with BuzzFeed, which replaced Yahoo on Snapchat’s “Discover” service. The only reason BuzzFeed wasn’t originally included on the “Discover” list is because the two sides couldn’t come to a deal regarding creative control. But just one month after joining the service in July, 21% of BuzzFeed’s total traffic came from Snapchat, according to CEO Jonah Peretti.
And how did Yahoo find out it was getting dumped?
Fast Company reports that Yahoo executives heard BuzzFeed was joining “Discover” before they were even told they were on the chopping block.
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