EXCLUSIVE: Snapchat Developing "Stories Everywhere” to Push Content Outside the App and Grow Users

December 27, 2017
Updated 2mo ago

Snapchat is developing a new product called “Stories Everywhere” with a goal of making Snapchat Stories available outside the app for the first time and kick-starting the app’s stagnant user growth, Cheddar has learned from a person familiar with the matter.

To lead the effort, Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., has hired Rahul Chopra, the former Senior Vice President and Global Head of Video at News Corp, who recently was CEO of the media conglomerate’s social data agency Storyful.

While Stories Everywhere is still in the early stages of development, Chopra has the important task of figuring out how to finally distribute the app’s wealth of user-generated content on the web and elsewhere. The project could mean that Snapchat makes it easier to share videos on other platforms through a web player that also prompts people to sign up and download the app, the person familiar with the matter told Cheddar.

The move echoes Twitter’s 2011 decision to allow content publishers to embed tweets in articles and blog posts.

Snap has also contemplated allowing other apps to access its feeds of user-generated videos, which are curated by algorithms and Snap employees, for everything from breaking news events to sports games. Opening up its content to other apps could potentially give Snap a way to make money off content licensing at a time when the young company is under pressure from investors to grow revenue.

Additionally, Snap has restructured its expanding content division and added more key roles under the leadership of VP Nick Bell:

  • Mike Su, the former Chief Product Officer at Latino-focused digital publisher Mitú, now oversees all of Snap’s content-related product development, including tools for media partners. “This will allow him to oversee the product changes needed to help our partners build sustainable businesses on Snapchat,” Bell said in an internal memo seen by Cheddar and sent to Snap employees last week.
  • Snap’s Michael DiBenedetto will now lead the content team’s strategy and operations. In his memo to employees, Bell called the newly-created position “an extremely important role as we look to drive operational efficiency and deliver on our 2018 plan.”
  • Former NowThis president Sean Mills will continue to oversee Snap’s original content efforts, including its rapidly growing list of exclusive shows from the likes of NBC and ESPN. In addition, Mills now oversees all programming for the redesigned Snapchat app’s Discover feed of video content, which is being slowly made available to users.
  • Longtime Snap employee Josh Stone now leads all media company relations. Stone joined Snap in 2013 and helped lead the company’s initial rollout of the Discover page in 2015. He reports to Ben Schwerin, Snap’s VP of Partnerships.

In a separate memo sent to Snap employees and reviewed by Cheddar, Bell outlined his content team’s goals for 2018. They include: increase the overall output of content in the redesigned Discover feed, widen content distribution, and double-down on news. Snapchat’s previously announced redesign, which includes the new Discover feed of professional and user-generated videos, is still only active for a small percentage of users.

A Snap spokesperson declined to comment for this story.