5 ways SnapChat Discover is changing the way millennials get news.

SnapChat Discover in use (image by Halle Levitt)

When SnapChat released its new Discover feature in January, I was hesitant to download it. Sure I was intrigued by what I heard about the update, but not enough to take the five seconds to update my app. “Whatever,” I thought. “I’ll get to it eventually.”

That was until my 16-year-old sister, a sophomore in high school, snapped me saying, “Check out Nat Geo Discover. SO SICK!” She was right — I’ve been hooked ever since. With media-watching blogs from Digiday to Nieman Journalism Lab now writing about how Southern Methodist University how Discover is bringing the news to a new generation. Here’s what they said:

1) It’s bringing the news to them.

Many millennials feel that getting news is too time consuming, especially when juggling busy college schedules. SnapChat delivers news within our natural routines.

“I don’t really ever sit down to the read news — between classes, work, homework and sorority stuff — so I like that this brings the news to me, even if its just a small piece of it.” said Jessica Cho, a junior advertising major

2) It makes news easily digestible.

In our increasingly fast-paced technological world, reading an entire newspaper cover to cover is not something millennials feel they have the time or attention span for.

“I’m a poli-sci major, so I read the news regularly,” said Kelsey Smith, a junior political science and English major. “But this new feature is great because now my friends are getting the news too, so I have people to talk to about what’s going on.”

3) It has a huge audience.

SnapChat is one of the most popular social apps today — 16.5 million people use SnapChat daily. The audience is already there.

“It’s the future of how people are going to digest news,” said Trevor Cadigan, a senior journalism major. Discover, he said, “definitely made SnapChat something besides a social application.”

4) It delivers a variety of different kinds of news.

National Geographic, The Food Network, CNN, and Vice are among the news sources taking advantage of the Discover feature.

“I had never heard of Vice News before,” said Christina Copus, a senior business major. “But now I follow them on Facebook too. Their articles are really interesting and different from what you would see anywhere else.”

5) It’s changing activism and the way we see the world.

On top of the Discover feature, SnapChat has also introduced geo-located stories. People from certain areas, or a certain event, can upload stories for everyone on SnapChat to see. These have included Carnival in New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro, the slopes in Aspen, The X-Games in LA, Paris, New York, London, and Milan Fashion Weeks, and even Paris in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.