Snapchat redesign will combine Live Stories and Discover

Snapchat is not just redesigning its key Discover section for media companies. It’s also rethinking Live Stories, too.

Snapchat is expected to unveil a redesign of Discover by mid-June, according to sources. It will meld Discover and Live Stories into one content experience, sources said. Snapchat also is planning to introduce a “subscription” feature so users can have a say in what content is more visible in their version, sources said.

Discover counts partners such as Vox, BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan and MTV, which curate channels filled with videos and articles. Live Stories is the section devoted to special events like the Super Bowl, Oscars, fashion shows and basketball games, where Snapchat users post videos from inside the events and the organizers share exclusive coverage.

For now, Discover and Live Stories are represented by small icons with logos that do little to draw viewers in. The redesign is being described as a “tile-like” display that shows off what’s inside with a cover image and headline.

“The goal is to focus on content, rather than the brand for Discover going forward. They expect that this will increase readership since the content can draw in users that don’t have a relationship with the brand, per se,” said one publishing source close to Snapchat.

The popularity of Live Stories and the new look to package the content, is meant to boost traffic for everyone. Like Facebook, Snapchat wants to align itself with live programming.

Snapchat has deals with partners like the National Football League, Wimbledon, Fashion Week and Tribeca Film Festival to post videos from games and events. The Live Stories from those events also mingle videos from users, and they are known to get between 10 million and 20 million views. Discover channels can get anywhere from 200,000 to 3 million views a day, according to sources.

With subscriber options, Snapchat is addressing the challenge of having more content and giving people personal choices. “There will be a new end snap that encourages users to subscribe, which will then feature your content more prominently to users,” the publishing source said. This will also give Snapchat even more data about what Discover publishers are most valuable.

It’s unclear if certain publishers won’t show up for everyone. Not every Live Story is shown to every user, but that’s generally determined by location. “All users are unique. At some point, you have to have a process where the user tells you what they most want from Snapchat,” another publishing source said.

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