Snap takes on TikTok and Instagram Reels with new Spotlight feature
The latest news on Spotlight, Snapchat's new feature to rival TikTok and Instagram.
Snap, the social media company behind Snapchat, has announced a new feature for its mobile app that aims to compete with TikTok. The feature, which is named Spotlight, will highlight the most entertaining video clips uploaded by Snapchat users.
“We can’t wait to see what you’ll create,” the company said in a statement. “Happy Snapping!” Spotlight will show users the top-rated video clips submitted for consideration by Snap’s moderators. Each clip will play on a loop until users swipe to the next post. Previously, Snapchat users have largely been shown posts uploaded by their friends or updates from publishers featured in the mobile app’s Discover tab.Read More »
In an attempt to encourage users to upload their videos to the new feature, Snap said that it would pay creators a total of $1 million per day through the end of 2020. Snap said that it may extend the $1 million daily payment program into 2021 if it proves to be successful.
The money will be divided up between users whose content is highlighted by the feature. Users must be aged 16 or older to receive payments and must agree to the company’s rules about content involving drugs and alcohol. Posts containing conspiracy theories, hate speech and other banned content are also barred from the new feature.
The new Snapchat feature represents a direct challenge to TikTok, Snap’s popular rival, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. Since its worldwide launch in 2017, TikTok has become renowned for its For You feature, which presents all users with a highlight reel of viral video clips and memes when they sign in.
While TikTok’s For You feature only presents clips uploaded by public accounts, Snap said that its new feature would highlight popular content hosted on accounts that are otherwise private.
A TikTok feature allowing users to incorporate music in their posts has proven particularly popular. Snap introduced new music features to Snapchat in October in another attempt to challenge the Chinese app’s success.
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Snapchat’s announcement follows Instagram’s unveiling in August of its Reels feature, which also invites users to post short-form video content aimed at going viral. Instagram is owned by the social media giant Facebook.
Spotlight will have its own tab in a new version of Snapchat’s mobile app. The company will use an algorithm to help decide which clips users are likely to enjoy. Factors such as how long other users spent watching the clip will be taken into account. Data showing many users skipping past a clip will downgrade posts, making them less likely to appear for other users.
Highlighted videos can be up to 60 seconds long, according to Snap. Featured videos will not contain advertisements initially but ads may be introduced later, the company said. Snaps for inclusion in Spotlight must be vertical videos with sound. Still photographs and horizontal videos will not be selected.
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Snap said that content in the new feature would be carefully moderated and that public comments would not be permitted. “We designed Spotlight to entertain our community while living up to Snapchat values, with our community’s well being as a top priority,” the company said in a statement.
Snapchat became popular following its launch 2011 by allowing users to post video clips that disappeared after 24 hours. But that idea was soon incorporated by Instagram, which created the popular Stories feature that allows users to upload temporary updates in addition to their permanent posts.
Twitter joined the competition earlier this year with Fleets, another type of temporary update. Twitter had previously operated Vine, another popular looped video service, but it shuttered the app in 2017 to the disappointment of many users.
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Spotlight is initially available to Snapchat users in a select group of countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. Users in other countries will be able to access the feature at a later date, the company said.
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