Snapchat’s new-look Discover section boasts preview tiles, channel subscriptions

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Almost exactly a year after Snapchat first redesigned its interface to highlight its “Discover” section, the social media app has once again overhauled its tab dedicated to news pieces and advertisements.

Updated on 06-07-2016 by Saqib Shah: Added details on the redesigned Discover page.

Following months of rumors, a new look for the Discover page arrived on Tuesday. The layout has abandoned the circular icons so familiar to Snapchat users for a collage design made up of tiles dedicated to each of the section’s publishers, among them CNN, Comedy Central, and MTV. The app’s featured Live Stories have also been given similar tiles and can be accessed alongside the Discover channels.

As in the past, the tiles can be found at top of the stories feed, below a user’s personal story. Each publisher’s tile now boasts its own cover page, with an image and text preview of the content that lies within. Additionally, the app has also changed its navigation icons on its camera screen. The Discover section icon is now three circles in a triangular shape, whereas the Chat 2.0 messaging feature now has a speech bubble icon.

With Snapchat reporting burgeoning user numbers and video view statistics, it comes as little surprise that the firm decided to take a closer look at the portion of its app that is arguably responsible for the vast majority of its revenue. Most importantly for advertisers and media sites — all of which are eager to vie for precious placement opportunities and viewership among the app’s young demographic — the Discover tab now lets users subscribe to their favorite channels. Once you choose to do so, the selected channel’s content will then appear inside your daily feed, alongside content from your friends. Additionally, when you press and hold on a channel to save it, you will also have the option to share it with friends via email, SMS, and your social media accounts. You can also unsubscribe from a channel using the same action.

Back in March, the Wall Street Journal became the first American paper to establish a presence on the Discover section (though others soon followed suit). And according to Snapchat, this feature gives more traditional media companies a way to think creatively about how to reach new audiences, and how to package content in bite-sized, easily consumable packages. For some, and certainly including the Journal, it’s fantastic.

“This is about new audiences in new platforms,” Sarah Marshall, a social media editor at the Wall Street Journal told Digiday. “It’s not about gaining subscribers tomorrow.”

We’ll just have to wait and see what the Discover redesign does for subscribers — for Snapchat and for advertisers alike.

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