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Snapchat redesigned its publisher section and now lets you subscribe to your favorite channels

Recode first reported on this update back in February.

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel at the 2015 Code Conference
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel at the 2015 Code Conference

Snapchat's publishing partners have long wanted a way to stand out inside the app. Now Snapchat is giving them their chance.

On Tuesday, Snapchat announced that users can subscribe to their favorite publishers from the Discover section, the area inside the app where Snapchat partners like ESPN, BuzzFeed and Cosmopolitan post content on a daily basis.*

Subscribing to a publisher guarantees its content will appear on Snapchat's Stories page, a section of the app closer to the launch screen that drives more traffic than the actual Discover section, according to sources.

As part of the update, Snapchat is also redesigning the Discover section so publishers can tease out each day's content with a magazine-style image and headline. The idea is to lure in readers who might not open a Discover channel without any idea what they're going to find inside.

Recode first reported on both of these updates back in February.


The key here is that Snapchat is giving publishers a way to stand out from the crowd. The Discover section has nearly doubled in size since Snapchat first launched it 18 months ago, and without any way to accumulate a following or add attention-grabbing headlines, it was tough for any one channel to distinguish itself (besides creating great stuff, of course).

Now that they can, expect publishers to fight hard for subscribers. Just like followers on Facebook or Twitter, adding subscribers inside Snapchat will mean publishers get better placement within the app and a quantifiable audience to help with pitches to potential advertisers.

One publishing partner told us back in December that competition inside Discover felt like "The Hunger Games." Now that subscribers and story headlines are part of the mix, expect things to get even feistier.

The new design and subscriber feature will roll out as part of an app update on Tuesday.

* Vox Media, which owns this site, launched a Discover channel for its site in 2015.

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