clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Snapchat Is Still Trying to Figure Out Its Own Content Strategy

The ephemeral message company is shutting the door on its first content creation experiment.

Asa Mathat for Re/code

Making good content is hard. So is distributing it. Snapchat appears to be learning both of those lessons on the fly.

The media company shut down its Snap Channel last month, the portion of its Discover section that featured content created by Snapchat. It’s also disbanding the 15-person team that had been in charge of creating that content. Marcus Wiley, the former Fox exec who was hired in May to lead Snap Channel’s effort is also leaving the company.

“Given that we are winding down the Snap Channel, it’s natural that Marcus would want to explore other opportunities,” a Snapchat spokesperson said in a statement. “He is a tremendous talent and we wish him well.” The departures were first reported by Deadline.

Basically, Snapchat is no longer creating content for its Discover section, now entirely populated by Snapchat’s 15 publishing partners. The company initially charged high ad rates against that content back in January, but later lowered prices. As with most content plays, the ad inventory wasn’t always selling out.

Startups will often try out different strategies and make changes as they go along, but Snapchat’s attempt at creating its own content was much more than just an experiment. The company spent a lot of time and money building up an entire staff devoted to the effort, and it’s hard to imagine it would abandon its Discover channel if it had been a rip-roaring success. It’s also hard to imagine it would bring in an accomplished Fox executive for what amounted to a five-month stint. Obviously, something didn’t work out.

Snapchat still has established media players like ESPN and CNN willing to hand over their content, but that simply makes Snapchat a platform akin to Facebook and Twitter. What sets Snapchat apart is that CEO Evan Spiegel says he actually wants to create content, something Facebook and Twitter don’t do.

How it plans to do this is still a mystery.

This article originally appeared on