How the Wall Street Journal is using Snapchat

During an age where Twitter is the main social media platform for journalism, news publications like the Wall Street Journal have seen the benefits of also moving to other platforms, such as Snapchat.  The Wall Street Journal was the second major news publication to use Snapchat to share their stories, and usually sends out 8 posts per week, according to an article on Niemlab.org.

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Image from a bidnessetc.com article.

The author of niemanlab.org article, Laura Hazard Owen, notes that “So far, the Journal’s Snapchat content seems skewed toward an audience older and more serious audience than other publishers (who mostly target toward young teens)”.  Owen uses Wall Street Journal posts about the rising monthly rent for apartments and rising pay for new graduates as an example.  This is a clever strategy by the Wall Street Journal, since 45% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 and 24, according to comScore.  Apartment rent rates and the income are things that college students and recent college graduates care about, rather than information about stocks, market prospects, and business.

Even though the Wall Street Journal has made many changes in content while using Snapchat, some of their familiar content has stayed the same.  Carla Zanoni, the emerging media editor at the Wall Street Journal, stated “When we realized we could repurpose our iconic stipple drawings here, we knew this format would be great for us.”

The iconic stipple drawings Zanoni is referring to, also known as hedcuts, are the gray headshots composed of dots that the Wall Street Journal has been using since the 1980s, according to a Wall Street Journal article about the history behind their famous hedcuts.

           In print                                                                             On Snapchat

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An article on redcode.net by Kurt Wagner analyzes how the Wall Street Journal’s move to Snapchat might affect how the younger generation views Snapchat.  Wagner suggests that since the Wall Street Journal is traditionally not thought of as a “cool” publication, this may be the first step to Snapchat not becoming the “coolest” social media platform anymore.

However, Kurt Wanger argues “If you’ll remember, there was a stretch where Facebook started to lose its coolness factor after users discovered Mom and Dad were sending them friend requests. That feeling seems to have passed (and clearly hasn’t derailed Facebook), and adding the Journal isn’t going to change Snapchat overnight. But it may be worth monitoring. ”  I agree with Wagner, since if the younger generation chooses not to use Snapchat to inform themselves on current events, then they won’t follow news publications like the Wall Street Journal.  That’s the great thing about social media: you can personalize your page to only include your friends’ messages or to only include messages from news publications you care about.

 

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