While Snapchat does have valuable news from well-established media companies, including coverage of international conflicts, refugees, live coverage from natural disasters and more, it also features clickbait headlines under the Discover tab that are the very opposite of hard-hitting journalism.
Some sample headlines that were front and center when I opened Snapchat this morning:
- “Do Girls Actually Like When You Do THIS?”
- “Don’t let your parents see THIS.”
- “The Last 5 Things Yara Sahidi ate.”
- “This Peruvian Chef will make you thirsty AF”
There was also a headline from Daily Mail titled “Kim goes casual,” that linked to a story about Kim Kardashian wearing athletic leisure clothes.
“This secret is hiding in plain sight” was about a calculator app that hides nude photos on your phone, while “Gucci Mane’s new hair has the internet shrieking” covered the rapper’s new $500 haircut and “These Celebs get REAL about losing their virginity” featured Joe Jonas and others discussed having sex for the first time.
Scattered among those headlines are links to more serious stories: “After the Olympics, a Nightmare in Rio” (The New York Times), and “North Korea Just Launched a Ballistic Missile” (CNN), but the vast majority of the editorial content featured on Snapchat today is lightweight fluff.
A spokesperson explained to me that Snapchat has a team of editors that fact checks each story, so while someone like myself might see these stories as clickbait, at least the content inside is vetted for accuracy.
Still, it’s hard to see how this is more compelling than say, jumping on Twitter and viewing posts from established and verified news outlets and journalists that I have chosen to follow because I value their work. Sure, the facts might be there, but who really cares if a double stuffed Oreo is actually double stuffed? Or what Yara Sahidi ate?
Source: Tech CNBC
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