Snapchat is focused on taking snaps beyond the app as it tries to fend off the rise of Facebook’s Stories knock-offs and Discover competitor, Watch. The latest Snapchat effort? A new initiative called “Stories Everywhere.”
This month, Snap hired Rahul Chopra, former CEO of Storyful, an agency that sources and verifies content on the web, to lead the charge. Chopra’s LinkedIn profile title reads “Head of Stories Everywhere, Content” at Snap Inc.
The live-streaming news network Cheddar first reported the initiative and Chopra’s role on Wednesday.
One of Chopra’s plans may include the future roll-out of a web player, according to anonymous source speaking with Cheddar. That’s something Snapchat has experimented with in the past, like during the 2016 Oscars, but the company hasn’t widely adopted for its own Stories and those of publishers.
Snap declined to comment on whether this is happening.
But why expand it all now? In its founding, Snapchat’s uniqueness was that it was a way to send and receive messages through just one app in hopes to make sharing more intimate and therefore frequent. It worked. But as Snapchat has grown as a publisher platform with Our Stories and Discover partners, it’s come time to look beyond the app. The strategy also comes with a stagnation in user growth and a decline on the stock market.
The new push arrives along with slight shifts in Snapchat’s content team. The team is still headed by VP of Content, Nick Bell. Mike Su, hired from site Mitú (a Snapchat Discover partner) in October, is leading all content and publishing tools; Josh Stone manages relationships with media companies; and Sean Mills focuses on Snapchat Shows, according to an internal memo obtained by Cheddar.
The initiatives of that content team, also revealed in the memo, include increasing the number of content partners of Discover (Mashable is a partner), doubling down on breaking news, and widening the distribution of content. That last part would be Chopra’s purview under the “Stories Everywhere” initiative.
Snapchat has experimented with content distributing on the web before. Back in February 2016, Snap featured its curated Our Story from the Oscars, including red carpet and in audience shots, on Snapchat’s website.
“Stories Everywhere” won’t just mean on Snapchat’s own website, of course. Storyful, which was acquired by News Corp., identified stories all across the web such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Snapchat could be hoping to see its snaps and content sourced and shared like tweets. After all, publishing partners on Snapchat (such as MTV) have long cited tweets as a way they can evaluate the resonance of their exclusive Snap content.