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Snapchat: An emerging platform for news for teens?

by: Nancy Yoshihara |

It may be time to experiment with news delivery to a young demographic now that Snapchat is the hottest social network among U.S. teens, according to a new survey. 

In a survey of 6,500 teenagers with an average age of 16.5 years, 28 percent cited the app as their most important social network, according to results of Piper Jaffray’s bi-annual survey of teenagers in the United States as reported by Statista. That put Snapchat ahead of Instagram and Twitter, both of which have declined in popularity among teens surveyed over the past 12 months.

You or your news organization may not be ready to embrace the app for news but it’s a good idea to get acquainted with Snapchat, which originally began as a chat app that allowed individuals to communicate directly with each other and then their messages went pouf--disappeared. 

Snapchat has since expanded into “stories” consisting of photos and videos. Last September, Snapchat itself put a little news in teens’ smartphone time. The New York Times began experimenting with Snapchat stories last year. Now there are Snapchat Discover Channels where publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Daily Mail post stories.

As a curious journalist, you must do a quick study of Snapchat right?

The Online Journalism blog has put out a small e-book called Snapchat for Journalists. Excerpts featured on the blog are an excellent introduction to the content. You’ll learn about just how different and quirky Snapchat is as a storytelling platform, the challenges, the format, the history, etc. 

In short, it’s a guide from a journalist’s perspective that will help you understand the Snapchat universe.

Nancy Yoshihara

Nancy Yoshihara is content manager at KDMC and its website with a focus on News for Digital Innovators and Tools, Tips
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