Here’s a Radar roundup of news from the world of messaging apps;
Snapchat’s Discover platform is now a year old. Kerry Flynn, tech reporter for the IB Times writes about how Discover media partners have been investing in staff as the platform becomes an integral part of their strategy;
‘Jobs in the media industry solely dedicated to strategizing and creating Snapchat content have emerged. Over the past year, publishers have made it clear that their Snapchat channels have moved from experiments to core offerings. Cosmopolitan’s Snapchat Discover channel generated, on average, 19 million views per month, Poynter reports. Cosmopolitan.com generates 20 million unique visitors per month, according to its website. BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti has said views from Snapchat make up 21 percent of his company’s total traffic’.
Lots of chatter has been emerging about new messaging app Line. Line is based in Japan and according to Techcrunch, the company has an Asian focus which includes releasing a suite of apps and services including ‘payments, taxis on-demand, music and video streaming’.
Interesting for journalism though is a new relationship between Line and The Economist. Speaking to Laura Hazard Owen of Nieman Lab, Economist deputy editor Tom Standage explained their thinking;
‘Why choose the Japan-based Line over a more globally popular messaging app like WhatsApp orFacebook Messenger? Standage said that the app’s audience is “complementary” to The Economist’s existing Facebook and Twitter audiences. It also supports both bots and conversational interfaces, “which is something we plan to experiment with this year,” he said. “Obviously there will be more support for publishers on Messenger and WhatsApp in the future, but Line is further along in that regard, which means we can get started now.”’
WhatsApp now has 1 billion users worldwide. According to Wired the Facebook owned app is now the second most popular app in the world after Facebook’s primary app.
‘As WhatsApp puts it: “That’s nearly one in seven people on Earth who use WhatsApp each month to stay in touch with their loved ones, their friends, and their family.”’
As Wired explained whilst the app has yet to find good traction in the U.S, it is popular in Europe and South America and in developing countries where access to the internet is more scarce it provides an alternative to the social networks.