Communicate reached out to Snapchat to learn more about how their new platform works.
Spotlight by Snapchat made its debut in the United States, earlier this year. SInce its launch, the platform has been garnering alot of attention and popularity, especially for the cash prize that awaits the snapchatter with the most entertaining Spotlight snap. In the six months since its launch, Snapchat has paid out more than $130 million in total to a group of more than 5,400 creators. Last month, Snap Inc. launched Spotlight in markets across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), enabling its audience of approximately 75 million users in the region to now shine a light on the most entertaining snaps created by the Snapchat community. Communicate reached out to Snapchat to learn more about the platform and how it works.
[Authors note - These responses are not attributed to a single speaker.]
What are the reasons behind launching this program?
We launched Our Story in 2014 because we believed in the power of visual communication and wanted to find ways to surface creative content for everyone to enjoy. From that time until now, sharing with the entire Snapchat community resonates very well with snapchatters. It’s clear that many want to post their creative snaps in an enduring way to public forums, for broad visibility. They do so today on other platforms, and Spotlight creates a space for that within Snapchat.
Launching Spotlight is part of our journey and underscores our commitment to evolving how snapchatters create, browse, consume, and discuss content on-platform, while enhancing our ability to deliver a more personalized UGC content experience. We want to help empower our community to express themselves through the Snapchat camera and share with the whole Snapchat community.
Like our other platforms within Snapchat, Spotlight is defined by our community -- how they use it, what they create, and the stories they tell. Our hope was that Spotlight lowers the barrier to content creation and we have already seen this taking place in countries where we have rolled it out so far. You don't have to have a public account, just a great snap, to be featured.
What takeaways did you learn from the US' launch of the Spotlight platform? How will you act on it?
Given it is Snap’s first foray into social media, we are constantly learning and iterating with Spotlight.
You can already see us acting on some of the things we have learned. For example, at the SnapPartner Summit (SPS) this year, we announced a host of new tools including a standalone app, Story Studio to allow content creators to make and edit great content on mobile, with analytics such as seeing what is trending on Spotlight, and a suite of powerful editing tools. We also built the option for this content to be edited, uploaded and viewed from desktop - supporting access and discoverability, and rolled out gifting, adding the option for creators to monetise content in another way, and for fans to support their favourite creators.
How does it work? What kind of parameters are used to choose who's snap gets the spotlight?
Spotlight is a new entertainment platform for user-generated content within Snapchat. Spotlight will surface the most entertaining snaps from the Snapchat community all in one place, and will become tailored to each snapchatter over time, based on their preferences and favorites.
Snapchatters are super creative and are looking for more ways to share stories with our community. We learned what our community loves about all of the public places where they share the snaps they create, and we built Spotlight in a way that reflects our values. On average, more than 5 billion snaps are created with our camera each day.
Our hope is that Spotlight helps democratize content creation. As a way to reward snapchatters for their creativity, Snap is distributing millions of USD each month to anyone who makes the most entertaining Spotlight snaps. For the opportunity to earn, users must be 16 years or older and the snaps they submit to Spotlight must follow Snap’s content guidelines and terms. Snap will contact the creators of these top Spotlight snaps regarding their earnings.
Users don’t have to be celebrities, influencers, or public figures to earn, and it doesn’t matter where they’re based. We want to make Spotlight fair and fun.
How can brands and advertisers leverage the Spotlight platform?
While there are no ads placed into Spotlight at launch, we are beginning to test them in some markets. We don’t have any further announcements to make at this time. We will continue to offer advertisers placement control, as we do today -- they choose where their ads run. When Snap Ads are introduced they will be full screen and there won’t be public comments -- just as with Snap Ads on the rest of the service.
How does the platform work from a financial standpoint?
As a way to reward Snapchatters for their creativity, we’re distributing millions of dollars every month to anyone who makes the most entertaining Spotlight snaps. You don’t have to be a celebrity, influencer, or public figure to earn, and it doesn’t matter where you’re based.
We want to make Spotlight fair and fun. Snaps are ranked based on how people engage with them - like how long they’re viewed and if people favourite them. Earnings are determined based on unique views. If Snapchatters want to just lean back and watch, they can go to the Spotlight tab and pick their favourite snaps.