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Snapchat challenges TikTok with curated video feed

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Nov 24, 2020 - 08:00 AM

SAN FRANCISCO — Snapchat on Monday unveiled a new curated short-form video feed in a stepped up challenge to social media rivals like TikTok.

The new format called Spotlight will allow Snapchatters to see content from influencers and other members of the network popular with young smartphone users.

Spotlight is aimed at broadening the connections among Snapchat users by enabling anyone to create a video that gets distributed on the platform.

It aims to encourage more users to create short-form video “snaps” which can be embellished with filters and augmented reality effects.

Parent firm Snap describes Spotlight as a “new consumption experience” for the social platform with an estimated 249 million active users at the end of September.

The company said the new offering could enable anyone to have their videos viewed by millions of users, and potentially earn money from them.

Snap said that all videos on Spotlight will be reviewed by human moderators before being shown on the platform — in contrast with rivals which use automated systems and in many cases respond to inappropriate content after the fact.

Another difference will be the lack of public comments on Spotlight, eliminating the need for moderation of abusive or unwelcome content.

Spotlight aims to become a “personalized” feed which will be curated by algorithm based on users’ viewing habits — a move following the lead of TikTok which has seen sizzling growth in recent months.

The launch comes amid increasing competition among social networks and rivals copying Snapchat’s disappearing messages.

Facebook’s core social network has been losing ground among younger audiences to rivals like Snapchat and TikTok, even as Facebook-owned Instagram continues to grow in that demographic group.

A Piper Jaffay survey of US teens last month showed Snapchat is their favorite social media platform, and that TikTok overtook Instagram for second place.

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