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Snapchat's startup professor says we're overlooking one of its big advantages

Unlike tweets, Snapchat Stories don't get lost in the social stream.

Yahoo Set To Invest $20 Million In Snapchat Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

As far as venture capitalists go, Mark Suster publishes more of his views online than most. He blogs. He tweets. And, as of late, he snaps. A lot.

So when he says he's learned some new things about distributing content online in 2016, it's worth a read. In a new blog post, Suster points out the big challenge of reaching all of your followers on Twitter with the same article or video or message, given the way the timeline is organized.

Because Twitter was a reverse chronology network, once a Tweet had passed by your stream you were unlikely to see it. The “half life” was very short. As somebody who invested his time heavily in writing and wanting to share his thoughts through a blog I learned that I had to Tweet a post 3 times to get it read: 5am, 8am and 10pm.

Yes, Twitter has started showing some older, popular tweets in your stream that you may have missed. But the issue Suster notes still largely holds true.

The structure of Snapchat Stories, on the other hand, means you should be able to reach more of your followers with the photos or videos you are publishing.

[T]here is one big innovation that the market hasn’t talked about. Snapchat stories takes everything that I do in a 24 hour period and builds it into one cohesive story.

Think about that. On Twitter if I post at 7:35am and again at 8:15am, there will probably be 150 Tweets in your stream between those, meaning there is no cohesion in my successive Tweets and meaning that if you log in at 8:30am your chances of seeing my 7:35am Tweet is slim-to-none. That’s not necessarily good or bad — but it’s different.

On Snapchat when you click on my “story” you see every post of mine sequentially for my entire past 24 hours. This is a big deal. If you don’t want to “complete” my story you simply swipe left and you’re on to the next story.

Snapchat Stories aren't really the place to share links to written stories. And building a following on Snapchat can be harder than on some other platforms.

But Suster has a point. If you're in the business of distributing photos and videos — and aren't a big media company that can get your own Snapchat "channel" — the 24-hour life of Snapchat Stories makes it an attractive place to set up shop.

Snapchat is one of the few exceptions

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