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Snapchat closing Local Stories feature, cutting jobs to focus on live events

Snapchat is reportedly killing off its Local Stories feature in an effort to focus its resources on bigger live attractions.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Local Stories, the brief highlight reels were much like Snapchat’s Live Stories feature but with a focus on user footage of everyday activities from a range of locales. Local Stories would be served up to users in both the app’s Stories and Discover sections. Last year, the feature also went global by curating local footage from select cities in Dubai, Malaysia, and Pakistan.

Snapchat, for its part, confirmed that a “small number” of staff members that worked on Local Stories were “eliminated” from its Los Angeles and New York offices. The company claimed that the job losses resulted from changes to its local Story coverage. “We’re thankful for the contributions from these team members,” Snapchat said in a statement.

Elaborating on the job cuts, sources close to the company told Bloomberg that approximately 15 Snapchat curators were shown the door. The sources claimed that Local Stories simply weren’t as popular as the app’s other features.

The so-called “change” to its “coverage” that Snapchat alluded to will see it concentrate on bigger events. To give you a taste of what that implies, Snapchat’s current Live Stories include coverage of New York Fashion Week and Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 4 runway show, and a Back to School story. Previous events have included sponsored highlights, and behind-the-scenes footage, from Super Bowl, WrestleMania, and the U.S. Open.

Snapchat is also reportedly planning on striking more deals for content, such as video series, from its Discover media partners. The likes of MTV and Comedy Central already produce short segments just for the app — the former recently resurrected MTV Cribs exclusively for the mobile format.

Snapchat is predicted to march toward double-digit growth both this year and the next. The app is also expected to rake in $1 billion in revenue in 2017.

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