Snapchat updates Discover and Live Stories with new tiles and subscriptions

Snapchat’s Discover redesign launched today, and publishers hope it will lead to more views and followers. The redesign turns the media hub into a more visual experience, with tiles that act as covers teasing to the content that’s inside Discover, as opposed to the older design with just plain media logos.

The new look also applies to the app’s Live Stories, which will be combined with Discover so all the premium content flows into one place. On the main page in the app, known at the Stories page where users get messages from friends, there will be a tile-based feed at the top mixed with Live Stories and Discover channels.

The big change for Discover partners, such as BuzzFeed, IGN, Vox, Cosmopolitan and People, is that their channels will have a subscribe button so that their content goes to the top of followers’ feeds daily.

“The redesign is an opportunity for publishers to create more compelling visuals to get consumers visiting on a daily basis,” said Athan Stephanopoulos, president of NowThis, a Discover partner.

NowThis distributes videos across social media platforms, and since launching on Snapchat, 15 percent of views come from that platform.


Snapchat now counts more daily users than Twitter, by some estimates, with more that 150 million people coming regularly. Discover publishers are known to capture between about 200,000 and 3 million views a day on average.

The redesign is seen as a way to tear off more of Snapchat’s daily traffic and drive it to the content from publishers. So far, many Discover partners and advertisers are reporting mixed results with the platform, where its popularity is undeniable but the effectiveness of advertising products are still an open question.

Discover and Live Stories are where Snapchat’s vertical video ads show up. Incorporating Live Stories into Discover also could help, because that special content appears to attract more views, in general. Live Stories, which are from special events like fashion shows or recurring channels from media partners like Major League Baseball, can get up to 20 million views in 24 hours.

“The potential for Snapchat is huge. Just go to any concert, and every phone is up and on Snapchat. That’s where it’s at,” said Joe La Puma, director of content strategy at Complex, which runs a Snapchat account but is not on Discover.

The hope is that with the redesign, subscriptions could open the way to more publishers being able to join Discover. Users could be able to curate their own Discover experience by subscribing to the ones they want, and ignoring the rest.

Subscribers will see a publisher’s channel on the opening page in Snapchat, where they spend most of their time messaging friends.


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