Snapchat to roll out news content and advertising in November

Garrett Reim
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Snapchat is in talks with media companies and advertisers around the launch of a new feature called Snapchat Discovery, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The new feature would show disappearing content and advertisements to users and would be Snapchat’s first monetized feature.
According to the WSJ’s source at least a dozen media companies, from television networks to newspapers, have discussed providing content for Snapchat Discovery.  Like Snapchat’s photo and video features, the feature would let users read, see and watch content so long as they hold their finger down on the screen. 
Snapchat has declined to comment on the reports. The feature is rumored to debut in November 2014.
Snapchat previously has been used for marketing campaigns by brands like Taco Bell, Audi and GrubHub. Audi, for example, ran a campaign around Super Bowl 2014 that generated 100,000 views on Snapchat, and ended up being the source of 30 percent of conversation around Audi’s Super Bowl efforts. Brand promotional usage of Snapchat to-date has been unpaid. 
Typically quiet Snapchat has been in the news a lot the past year for skyrocketing valuations and the launch of several new features. Last November, Snapchat was reportedly offered $3 billion to sell to Facebook. The company declined that offer and recently it was rumored to be valued at $10 billion.
Snapchat also has been experimenting with a so-called ‘Our Story’ feature. First unveiled at the Electric Daisy Carnival, an electronic music festival, the feature allowed Snapchaters to share experiences around a certain event.  By turning on the location services function and sending their Snapchats to ‘Our EDC Story,’ users were able to see a stream of disappearing photos and videos from around the event. Later, Snapchat experimented again with the feature during the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, gaining it more widespread exposure.
To date, Snapchat has not generated any revenue and has sustained itself on five rounds of investment totaling $163 million in funds. The company’s most recent round of $50 million, was raised in December 2013 and came exclusively from Coatue Management, a private equity firm.

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