Snapchat rolled out the red carpet for web users to catch up on snaps from tonight’s Academy Awards. Visitors to the snapchat.com site were greeted with an online player offering Snapchat Live updates on the awards show. This is the first time Snapchat has shown off content in this manner.
This move fits in with a larger integration to bring access from across the internet into Snapchat content. Last month, the service introduced profile URLs to allow users the ability to access profiles via links to add users on the app. Still, for desktop users clicking on the links, they really only served to redirect snapchatters to an app download screen as previous to this release there has been no Snapchat content available on desktop.
The web player puts Snapchat in more direct competition with cross-platform products like Twitter Moments which already have established desktop presences. It also opens up the possibility of web embeds for Snapchat content in the future where users will be able to engage with curated event experiences on third-party sites.
Snapchat is obviously looking to keep content absorption on the same devices that promote content creation, i.e. mobile phones with back and front-facing cameras, but this is a major move that will allow Snapchat content to receive recognition from people who aren’t users of the service already. On desktop it will give web users a chance to see the content directly, while mobile users will be taken to a download screen for the app.
This makes sense for Live Stories especially as it is a platform where everything is absorbed and nothing in the experience is inherently tied to user information. Users don’t follow or opt-in to receiving Live Stories, they are curated and presented at the top of the Stories screen for all users of the app. As Snapchat grows and looks to reach out past word-of-mouth downloads, linkable content will be a huge area for the service to conquer.