Within the next several weeks, The New York Times is set to launch a new Snapchat Discover channel. According to the Times’ Assistant Editor Steve Duenes, the channel will feature visual storytelling that’s anything but boring — with animation, video, and photography in the mix. The channel, which will be available in the U.S. and Canada every Monday through Friday, will be similar to current Times’ offering Morning Briefing.

Snapchat offers advantages for The Times

Snapchat is dominated by a younger demographic, which gives publications like The Times an effective way to reach Millennial readers. In addition, the visual format of the social media site lets publishers get creative with their method of message delivery.

Currently, The New York Times has staffers from different areas of the newsroom prepping for the channel launch — including graphics professionals and video editors. The Times’ Kinsey Wilson recently revealed that at least six staffers will be kept on to run the channel.

SODP thinks the move to Snapchat will be a fortuitous one for The Times, especially since Snapchat has nearly 150 million users daily and has its initial public offering on the horizon. This isn’t the first time the news organization has experimented with visual media — it’s already successfully delved into VR, 360-video and Facebook Live.

It’s easy to see why publishers like The Times are jumping onto distributed platforms such as Snapchat. Billions of users visit Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube every day, with partnerships with these sites garnering approximately $7.7 million in just the first half of 2016, according to a Digital Content Next publishers’ survey. While it remains to be seen what the first half of this year will bring, we speculate revenues will continue to grow for digital publishers that know how to make use of these tools.

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What will The Times’ new content channel look like?

Although there’s been no firm word on exactly what to expect from the new Snapchat Discover channel from The Times, Duenes did confirm that it will be recognizable as part of its brand, as far as the design is concerned. The channel was described by Duenes with buzzwords like “motion” and “authority,” which leads us to believe it will be a vibrant visual offering that’s also a trustworthy source for daily news.

What do you think about The New York Times’ foray into Snapchat?

Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at vahe@stateofdigitalpublishing.com.

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