Snapchat, which has been working on Spotlight for a year and a half, has learned from existing models. (Photo: 123RF)
Its ephemeral “stories” have been widely copied by other networks, but it’s Snapchat’s turn to take inspiration from its young competitors: the app with the ghost logo launches “Spotlight”, a public thread of content produced by its users, modeled on TikTok.
Snapchat users – mostly teens and young adults – have so far only posted their photos and videos to their contacts or in private messages … Or on competing networks.
From Monday, in 11 countries including the United States and France, they will be able to distribute their creations more widely, by staying on the app, on a public thread, automatically personalized by the algorithm according to the tastes of the spectators.
This formula made TikTok so successful, with, for influencers, the hope of creating a viral video, and, for users, the possibility of scrolling through a tailor-made selection of short content.
But Snapchat, which has been working on Spotlight for a year and a half, has learned lessons from existing models, like TikTok or Reels, Instagram’s version.
To begin with, the content must be approved by the moderators of the platform. At first, each video posted will have been seen by someone beforehand, the company told AFP. Subsequently, it will undoubtedly be a combination of human intervention and artificial intelligence.
The app frequented by nearly 250 million people daily has not revealed how many moderators are working on this potentially gargantuan task, but believes the stakes are well worth the effort.
Executives prefer to choose content that will be seen by millions of people rather than becoming an open platform that constantly has to worry about removing problematic content.
Facebook (on its main network and on Instagram), TikTok, YouTube and others are regularly criticized for not doing enough to tackle disinformation, incitement to violence or hate speech.
Snapchat also experiences these kinds of problems, which undermine the confidence of users and advertisers. A few days ago, in the French town of Annecy (east), a high school student was indicted for threatening to kill a teacher on the network.
Another major difference with rival threads is that there will be no public commentary on Spotlight. At most, users will be able to make private remarks to the creators, if they have not published their content anonymously and agree to be contacted.
The platform thus intends to create a positive environment, where it is not possible to be unpleasant, unlike TikTok where even influencers followed by millions of people find themselves sharing their videos in a space where they face a lot of negativity, according to a Snapchat spokesperson.
Any creator, whether followed by tens or thousands of people, will be able to click the Spotlight box after making a video with (or without) the app’s famous filters, from cat ears to faces. and distorted voices.
Snapchat insists on equality between users, who will compete for possible financial gains based on the interest aroused by their content. Over a million dollars will be distributed every day.
“Snaps are rated based on interactions with people, such as time spent watching a video or assigned hearts. Revenues are determined based on the number of unique views, ”a statement said.
More than two years after its IPO, Snapchat has still not managed to turn a profit. In the third quarter, the company lost $ 200 million.
But it doubled its annual turnover, to 680 million, in particular thanks to the successful launch of new tools, to encourage its users to spend more time on the application, and new advertising products, to “try »Augmented reality accessories or immerse yourself in the universe of a brand.
In 2013, Snapchat invented “stories”, stories that disappear 24 hours after being posted. Ultra popular, they have been copied by Facebook (first on Instagram, in 2016) and more recently by Twitter, which has just launched “fleets”.