Snapchat is launching a digital magazine, which will feature essays, narratives on living with technology. The magazine called ‘Real Life’ will launch on June 27, and the announcement was confirmed by Snapchat employee and social theorist Nathan Jurgenson, who will be serving as Real Life’s Editor-in-chief.
In a blogpost, which announced the launch Jurgenson wrote that Real Life will have complete editorial independence from Snapchat, and it won’t be a news site about “gadget reviews or industry gossip” and instead will focus on “how we live today and how our lives are mediated by devices.”
Real Life plans to “publish one piece of writing every weekday,” although it may eventually expand to other mediums and formats as well.
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Jurgenson’s blogpost adds, “Three years ago, Snapchat offered to support the work I do as a sociologist, primarily applying social theory to social media. In these past three years, the company has also paid for the venue for a conference I co-founded and chair called Theorizing the Web, without asking for any editorial input or control. Snapchat is now funding Real Life, and we have editorial independence as well. The support means we can focus on writers and writing rather than clicks and shares. At the same time, there are inherent complexities attached to being funded by a company in the field of what we’re publishing about, sometimes critically. When you see the full site, the content will have to speak for itself.”
According to Venture Beat, “Snapchat will technically have web content that is visible on desktop computers,” and won’t be restricted to mobile devices. The report also confirms that Real Life will be fully funded by Snapchat.
With Snapchat now exploring text-based stories, will also open up a possible new source of ad revenue for the four-year-old company.
An earlier report by AdWeek, said Snapchat plans to start showing ads between user stories, and is moving towards monetisation. Bloomberg put Snapchat’s monthly active users at 150 million, making the four-year-old chatting app bigger than Twitter.
According to the AdWeek report, Snapchat’s API will “hook up more than 20 tech-minded companies,” and will “expand advertising dramatically on the platform in the long run.”
Snapchat recently introduced a redesigned version of the app with Live Stories and Publisher Stories, putting them in sharp focus with bigger tiles. Now when users open the stories tab, they find stories by their friends and other celebrities between the Discover and Live Stories tab.