Snapchat is now live in NewsWhip Spike. For the first time, journalists can discover what people are snapping anywhere on earth, in any topic.
This will change how stories are discovered, understood and reported on. Today, social network content gathered by journalists is often contrived. Pictures are posed, filtered and carefully selected. Essays, announcements, and diatribes are carefully written.
With Snapchat, we can open a new window on raw, unfiltered reality.
When newsworthy things happen, Snap users get their camera out, take pictures and video, and share them. Snap is designed for real-time, candid capture of what people are saying, doing and seeing.
As Jim Kennedy, VP Strategy at the Associated Press, put it, a live view of happenings in Spike means we can give “a ground-level view of newsworthy events or breaking news situations. A control room view of multiple angles on an unfolding story.”
Snap can serve as a pipeline between eyewitnesses and reporters, and a pipeline of inspiration and ideas to all other content creators.
A look at how Tropical Storm Gordon is driving snaps in Florida
Floods, Fires, Elections, and Storms
Today, it’s impossible for reporters to cover the huge areas affected during an earthquake, storm, wildfires or other large-scale events. But with our Snap search capability, they can monitor the entire location and see any remarkable videos captured and uploaded.
For example, Snap Stories can capture the ordinariness of the wildfires raging in California.
Snap stories can also capture the human situation and perspectives in a natural disaster, for example in the huge, fatal floods in Kerala, India.
Similarly, during Zimbabwe’s Presidential election last month, it might be impractical for an outlet to position journalists all over the country – but monitoring Snap could reveal newsworthy events, such as an ominous “raid” on a hotel.
Snap stories can even give a tip-off that a story is afoot – even if we don’t know what it is yet.
A stream of on-the-ground Snaps can help add color to reporting. On August 20th, the most devastating hurricane since 1992 was forecasted to hit Hawaii. The regular news stories focused on people stocking up and boarding windows.
But the reality on Snapchat was people going to the beach and swimming, enjoying the waves, and paying no mind to the reported incoming storm – a story in itself.
Today a newsroom – even with limited resources – can now capture all of these perspectives and discover alternative angles on any newsworthy phenomenon.
Stepping back from international and national events, Snapchat can be transformative for reporting on local, temporal events. When small newsrooms can’t get a reporter to the ball game, they can easily find the snaps from it. Or iConfederaterate statue is unexpectedly removed, they can quickly get images and confirmation from the site itself.
Interesting things might happen anywhere at a big event, and reporters cannot be everywhere. But they can rely on the thousands of cameras on the ground, whether that’s the red carpet at the Video Music Awards…
… or footage of London gangland violence.
As the Associated Press told us, these perspectives can “accelerate newsroom response in a number of ways, from reporting color remotely to moving resources to the scene based on what you’re seeing.”
Snapchat can also provide an intimate, unfiltered look into how audiences are talking and engaging around a product or topic – to help spark ideas, inform research, or discover a new story. From a son’s return home from a tour of duty, skydiving, a Yankees game, a baby’s first steps, the smell of bacon, to the perfect beer pour.
The ole Pumpkin Spice return…
… to reactions to Nike’s sponsorship announcement.
This is a novel new window on the world, and we’re very excited to be opening it up.
The current Snap searchability in NewsWhip Spike is just the beginning. Snap is committed to being an important part of the wider media ecosystem and will bring new elements on stream this year. We’re looking forward to introducing them to you.
We’d love to see how a window on Snapchat can support your content strategy. If you’d like to see the world through a new lens, please drop us a line to request a trial of Spike.