Skip to main content

Snapchat’s first breaking news event covers San Bernardino mass shooting

Snapchat
Shutterstock/Focal Point
Snapchat has taken many by surprise by making its grand entry into the field of live news coverage.

On December 2, as the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, was unfolding, the ephemeral messaging app took the unprecedented step of creating a “California Shooting” live story. The Snapchat team curated the story by adding video and images from the app’s users as news of the event was still breaking online and on TV networks across the U.S.

Whereas in the past Snapchat’s live stories were dedicated to a particular scheduled event, such as the Pope’s visit to New York or a political debate, this was its first attempt to position itself as a source for breaking news coverage.

The move has been met with mixed reception from viewers, reports Mashable. Some hailed it as a democratization of the news and another stepping stone on the path to integrating citizen journalism into the wider media framework. Others, however, were disturbed by the idea of watching coverage of an unfolding tragedy on a messaging app.

Commentinjpgg on the decision, Snapchat’s VP of Communications, Mary Ritti, issued the following statement to the International Business Times: “We published [the ‘California Shooting’] story because we felt that the content, which comes from the L.A. local story, was newsworthy and held national significance. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.”

Snapchat also illustrated some of the breaking visuals — many depicting the experience of the app’s users that were present in the vicinity — with text (some using the app’s distinct geofilters), including official statements from local authorities, to explain the context behind the images.

Although other media outlets — including Digital Trends — use Snapchat to break news stories and highlight their coverage without their own team of reporters on the ground, the app has to rely on the images from regular users. The advantage Snapchat has over other social networks, which are also trying to curate news events to attract users, is that it deals in visuals. Although a hashtag devoted to the mass shooting was trending on Twitter yesterday, users searching for video news coverage of the event would likely have had to trawl through tweets to find it.

The San Bernardino mass shooting saw 14 people killed and 17 more injured. The two shooters involved in the incident have been identified as Syed Farook, 28, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, 27. News continues to develop.

Saqib Shah
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Saqib Shah is a Twitter addict and film fan with an obsessive interest in pop culture trends. In his spare time he can be…
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video
woman sitting and using laptop

Sometimes, whether you're chatting with friends or posting on social media, words just aren't enough -- you need a GIF to fully convey your feelings. If there's a moment from a YouTube video that you want to snip into a GIF, the good news is that you don't need complex software to so it. There are now a bunch of ways to make a GIF from a YouTube video right in your browser.

If you want to use desktop software like Photoshop to make a GIF, then you'll need to download the YouTube video first before you can start making a GIF. However, if you don't want to go through that bother then there are several ways you can make a GIF right in your browser, without the need to download anything. That's ideal if you're working with a low-specced laptop or on a phone, as all the processing to make the GIF is done in the cloud rather than on your machine. With these options you can make quick and fun GIFs from YouTube videos in just a few minutes.
Use GIFs.com for great customization
Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Read more
I paid Meta to ‘verify’ me — here’s what actually happened
An Instagram profile on an iPhone.

In the fall of 2023 I decided to do a little experiment in the height of the “blue check” hysteria. Twitter had shifted from verifying accounts based (more or less) on merit or importance and instead would let users pay for a blue checkmark. That obviously went (and still goes) badly. Meanwhile, Meta opened its own verification service earlier in the year, called Meta Verified.

Mostly aimed at “creators,” Meta Verified costs $15 a month and helps you “establish your account authenticity and help[s] your community know it’s the real us with a verified badge." It also gives you “proactive account protection” to help fight impersonation by (in part) requiring you to use two-factor authentication. You’ll also get direct account support “from a real person,” and exclusive features like stickers and stars.

Read more
Here’s how to delete your YouTube account on any device
How to delete your YouTube account

Wanting to get out of the YouTube business? If you want to delete your YouTube account, all you need to do is go to your YouTube Studio page, go to the Advanced Settings, and follow the section that will guide you to permanently delete your account. If you need help with these steps, or want to do so on a platform that isn't your computer, you can follow the steps below.

Note that the following steps will delete your YouTube channel, not your associated Google account.

Read more