The Mario Blog
Attracting young audiences (2)–Snapchat Discover

Even the most serious content is going to be rejuvenated for the Snapchat Discover audience. One definitely good way to expose your brand to a new generation.

This is the weekend edition of TheMarioBlog and will be updated as needed. The next blog post is Monday, June 12. I will be reporting from Doha, Qatar and  Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Update #1: Saturday, June 10, Zurich, Switzerland, 07:06

It’s the goal of every media house globally.

It’s a topic that rises to the top in every workshop I conduct at newsrooms across the world: how can we make sure that the younger generations are aware that we are the newsapper/magazine that they need to come to for information, just as their parents do and their grandparents did before them.

Enter Snapchat Discover, where the most serious content gets a refreshing presentation with visuals, animation and the spirit of how youngsters communicate on Snapchat.

Snapchat was founded in 2011, and became popular with the young crowd quickly  because of its uniqueness: a mobile messaging application used to share photos, videos, text, and drawingsThere is one feature that makes Snapchat different from other forms of texting and photo sharing: the messages disappear from the recipient’s phone after a few seconds. And, as the Snapchat sources remind me “there is no fake news on Discover.

As a grandfather of 11, I don’t have to reach out to any marketing studies to learn the power, magnetism and habit-creating force of Snapchat.  In fact, I joined Snapchat at the urge of my two high school-age grandkids.

While Snapchat has the allure for the young, Snapchat Discover offers the same visual treats but with brand name newspapers and magazines offering selected stories of the day, curated by editors and customized especially for the young audiences that will, hopefully, consume them.

Several of our Garcia Media clients are already part of Snapchat Discover (you must be invited to be hosted there!). In fact, I hear from the editors of publications already there, and their excitement is contagious.  I also hear from clients not yet there, who would love to be invited.  I understand: Snapchat Discover delivers that precious young audience that every publisher wants, but that it is difficult to reach through the regular content of their publications, or the way it is presented.

Paris Match and Snapchat Discover

One of my client publications having a successful splash in Snapchat Discover is the iconic French magazine, Paris Match, a sort of journalistic institution in France, with a brand that is strong and highly recognizable.  However, I remember during my last project with Paris Match, asking a very young Paris taxi driver:

“Do you read Paris Match?”

He looked at me through the rear view mirror and said:

“No, but my grandmother does.”

I told that story to my friend and Paris Match editor in chief, Olivier Royant. He was not surprised. He and one of his most talented team members, Marion Mertens, chief digital editor, were working with me on what we still think is a real pre-Snapchat Discover project that almost matches it 100%.  Working with then Garcia Media art director, Reed Reibstein, we came up with a series of mock ups of how a customized mobile edition of Paris Match, aimed at the young, could look like. The idea was to bring the young audience (such as the taxi driver mentioned above), to Paris Match.

These are some of those early prototypes. Our concept was to take the elements that are intuitive for readers of a print magazine and transfer them with total adaptation to the mobile devices, starting with a mini cover concept.

We emphasized one image, one headline per screen, something that is now an accepted rule when designing for touch.

Stories would be selected specifically for the daily mobile editions, just as they are for Snapchat Discover.

Advertising was present in our mock ups, with visually appealing images that echoed the look and feel of the rest of the app.

That project planted the seed, although it never went live as the Paris Match Mobile edition we had envisioned.

A presence in Snapchat Discover

So, in 2016, Paris Match captured the spirit of our project and, under the leadership of  Olivier Royant, and with Marion Mertens as editor, Paris Match was one of the first French titles to enter into the fun Snapchat Discover app.  Here are some images for Paris Match and its daily edition for Snapchat Discover.


The results have been outstanding.

Specifically, what does it take on a daily basis for a publication to produce content for Snapchat Discover? And, how about the team needed to do so? Marion, who edits the material with her team, is quite enthusiastic about it.

“Snapchat Discover is like a running a sprint and marathon at the same time. Punchy headlines and visuals building stories every day 7 days a week. It is about building a new team from scratch, finding a new audience and reinventing our journalism while developing new visual and storytelling skills. Humbling and motivating at all levels! .”

Snapchat meeting

I have met with Nick Bell,  vice president of Snapchat, recently in New York.  His interest in visual storytelling is obvious and we had a good chat about a better, more dynamic and visually exciting way to tell stories, inspired by the way young people use Snapchat to communicate with each other.

I believe that Snapchat Discover is a product that manages to capture the attention of those elusive young members of the audience. It introduces our media brands to people that, while constantly connected, are not necessarily interested in what our products have to offer. I foresee Snapchat Discover becoming more powerful in the future, introducing new ways of presenting information, curation, even Virtual Reality.  For us in this business, it is a giant door into a world that editors do not know much about and find impossible to tap into.

If you are an editor/publisher/designer , you need to knock on that Snapchat door. Join Snapchat, experience it, and you will see that the way it presents information may offer you valuable clues for your own publication.

Attracting young audiences begins with understanding how they get information and, more importantly, playing with them in their own playground.


How Norwegian newspaper attracts young readers via Snapchat Discover


More about Snapchat Discover

Here are a number of interesting points about Discover, in their own words:
  • Discover launched globally in January 2015 and is a place for Snapchatters to explore Stories from an expert editorial perspective.

  • Discover complements the personal perspectives that our community shares when talking through photo and video Snaps with their friends and the community perspectives captured through Our Story coverage of events and places from around the world.

  • Our platform is built on values of authoritative and credible sources of information – both for our Discover partners and our own news coverage through Our Stories.

  • Snapchatters only see content that is produced by approved editorial partners or has undergone a rigorous editorial and fact-checking process. We’re proud of this – and that our community sees much more diverse coverage and perspectives thanks to the Snaps we receive from Snapchatters — including journalists and producers — around the world.

  • Today, the English-language version of Discover is popular globally with local editions in the US, UK and Australia.

  • In September 2016, we launched Discover in France, marking the first time Discover was fully localized in a non-English speaking country. Since then, we have also launched localized Discover content in German, for Snapchatters in Germany, and in Arabic, for Snapchatters in the Middle East and North Africa region, and will continue to expand localized content in other markets.

  • On Discover, Snapchatters can find Publisher Stories, selections of  magazine-like editorial content produced by leading media publishers, and Shows, which are character or format-driven single narrative mobile videos, produced exclusively for Snapchat’s vertical screen by leading TV companies and content creators.

  • Media companies and advertisers alike have a full-screen, vertical canvas for storytelling. Snap Ads from brand partners will be interspersed between the editorial content.

  • Each media partner curates their own Publisher Stories, and has editorial independence over their content. Publisher Stories support our media partners by offering a distinct place for Snapchatters to dive into their content and explore the stories they think are important each day.

  • Tap on an edition and swipe left to flip through. Swipe up from a top Snap if you’re interested in learning more to see a long-form piece of content.

We now have well over 70 Discover partners around the world (including in the Middle East region, where we just launched in late May). 

What media companies are already in Snapchat Discover?

Discover Partners (Publisher Stories)

* Notes exclusivity to that specific country/region.

  • United States: CNN, Comedy Central, Cosmo, Daily Mail, ESPN, Food Network, MTV, National Geographic, People, VICE, Brother, Buzzfeed, iHeart, IGN, Mashable, Tastemade, Refinery29, Sweet, Wall Street Journal, NowThisNews, Complex, The Economist, NBA, The Dodo, Vogue, NFL, Mitu, Bleacher Report, Washington Post, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Harper’s BAZAAR, Popular Mechanics, Vulture, Essence, SELF, GQ, Wired, Road and Track, The New York Times, Wired

  • UK: Cosmo UK*, Bleacher Report UK*, Sky News*, Sky Sports*, Tastemade UK*, The Sun*, Comedy Central International, Daily Mail, MTV Intl, Food Network, National Geographic, People, VICE, Brother, Buzzfeed, IGN, Mashable, Refinery 29, Sweet, The Economist, NBA, The Dodo, Washington Post, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR

  • Canada: Bleacher Report, CNN, Comedy Central UK, Cosmo, Daily Mail, Food Network, MTV International, National Geographic, People, VICE, Brother, Buzzfeed, IGN, Mashable, Tastemade, Refinery29, Sweet, The Economist, NBA, The Dodo, Washington Post, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Harper’s BAZAAR, The New York Times

  • France: Cosmo France*, Konbini*, L’Equipe*, Le Monde*, Melty*, Paris Match*, Tastemade France*, VICE France*

  • Australia: Fox Sports AU*, News Corp. AU*, ESPN AU*, CNN, Comedy Central UK, Cosmo, Daily Mail, ESPN AU, Food Network, MTV International, National Geographic, People, VICE, Brother, Buzzfeed, IGN, Mashable, Tastemade, Refinery29, Sweet, The Economist, NBA, The Dodo, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Harper’s BAZAAR, the New York Times

  • Norway: VG*, Bleacher Report, CNN, Comedy Central UK, Cosmo, Daily Mail, Food Network, MTV International, National Geographic, People, VICE, Brother, Buzzfeed, IGN, Mashable, Tastemade, Refinery29, Sweet, NBA

  • MENA: Al Arabiya*, Al Jazeera*, Layalina*, MBC*, Sayidaty*, Sky News Arabia*, Zahrat Al Khaleej*

  • Global: Bleacher Report, CNN, Comedy Central UK, Cosmo, Daily Mail, Food Network, MTV International, National Geographic, People, VICE, Brother, Buzzfeed, IGN, Mashable, Tastemade, Refinery29, Sweet, NBA


 Of related interest

  • Buzzfeed: Why Snapchat And Apple Don’t Have A Fake News Problem [LINK]
  • New York Times: Snapchat Discover Takes a Hard Line on Misleading and Explicit Images [LINK]
  • Fast Company: Inside the Fake News Fight at Apple, Snapchat, Facebook and More [LINK]

Speaking Engagements Coming Up

SIPConnect 2017, to be held in Miami June 21-23, is a program of the Inter American Press Association, IAPA, or SIP (Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa).  The venue will be the Hilton Miami Downtown Hotel.


Join us at the SIPConnect Hemispheric Conference 2017. Organized by the IAPA, SIPConnect is a gathering of media and digital businesses to encourage more audiences and higher revenues. It’s a laboratory for new ideas and successful experiences for the digital transformation. As in the 2016 successful meeting that was attended by media from the US, Latin America and the Caribbean, experts in digital businesses and representatives of innovative companies will participate in this event.

For more information

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Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.