Copying TikTok as a feature
Why it matters: TikTok’s success prompted Google to add short-form videos to its YouTube app, and Facebook has added a similar feature in the form of Reels for Instagram. Now it’s Snap’s turn, with the introduction of a Spotlight tab for Snapchat that will act as a curated feed of entertaining snaps posted by users.
Today, Snapchat announced Spotlight, which is a TikTok-like feature that will live as a video tab inside its app. The functionality opens up a new opportunity for Snapchat users to reach a bigger audience, and is a departure from the app being primarily focused on intimate groups that include friends, family, and colleagues.
The way Spotlight works is that users will be able to share vertical video content up to 60 seconds in length in a public feed that will be sorted by an algorithm. You can still share videos privately with people that follow you, or upload them in the Our Stories tab so that they’ll get featured on Snap Map.
With Spotlight, Snapchat hopes to improve on the idea behind TikTok’s “For You” page by integrating it alongside its existing video tabs, whereas the latter is the first thing that greets you when you open up the app. Snapchat user profiles are private by default, so snaps will not be automatically pushed to a large audience. Furthermore, you cannot leave comments on Spotlight snaps, as you’re limited to liking and forwarding them to your friends.
Interestingly, Snap is betting big on the new feature, so it has chosen to encourage users to create more content by putting up a daily cash prize that will be divided among the people who create the most popular snaps, regardless of their profile stats. Specifically, it has committed to spending $1 million per day through the end of the year, and that could extend into 2021.
And if you needed any further confirmation that Spotlight is a nod to TikTok’s success, the company says it’s “also rolling out new creator tools for Snapchatters, including the ability to use captions throughout your Snaps, a continuous shooting mode for longer Snaps, and the ability to trim singular Snaps in addition to our robust AR creative tools and recently-launched Sounds music tools.”
Spotlight is available in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, with a planned expansion to more countries in the coming months.