Snapchat is overhauling its design to be a better publishing platform

Snapchat will sport a different look.
Snapchat will sport a different look.
Image: Reuters/Mike Segar
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Snapchat is introducing some big changes to its app in order to boost traffic to publishers’ content, as it makes a more aggressive push to generate revenue.

In an update rolling out today, users will have the ability to subscribe to different publishers that post stories and videos to its Discover section. After a user subscribes to a publisher, its content will more heavily featured in different sections of the app.

Following the update, the app will look vastly different. It will now offer a preview image of stories (before it was just the publisher’s logo), as well as a headline in order to give users more context. The design change applies to both Discover stories from publishers and Live Stories, which are curated by Snapchat.

Here’s a video introducing the overhaul:

Publishers have been flocking to the five-year-old app, trying to capture its young, growing user base. Some estimates say Snapchat now boasts more daily users than Twitter. With these changes, publishers will be competing more aggressively for subscribers. With some reports saying Snapchat could be exploring a Facebook News Feed-style algorithmic feed—letting computer programs sort content instead of humans—the number of subscribers could become an important metric for Snapchat publishers.

Discover, which was launched in January 2015, is Snapchat’s first big attempt at monetizing its platform. It has already attracted media behemoths like ESPN, MTV, CNN, Buzzfeed, and Vice. Snapchat is reportedly projecting $300 million in revenue this year, with a bulk of that coming from ad revenue generated through Discover.