Publishing Platforms, Video Monetization

7 Publishers Spreading Holiday Cheer on Snapchat Discover

By Li Zhao | Dec 15, 2016


The holiday season is right around the corner! It doesn’t matter whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa; or none of the above, it’s still a much-needed break from the daily grind – or should we say – our laptops. Publishers might see a drop in their web traffic accordingly; however, some publishers are seeing great opportunities in social video – especially on Snapchat, where millennials are actively sharing their best party moments and holiday wishes all season long.


It’s no surprise that millennials make up the largest age demographic on Snapchat, with 37% of users falling between the ages of 18 to 24, and 26% between 25 and 34. You may have heard that “Snapchat built a business by confusing olds,” but don’t get fooled by rumors. With 200 million active users and counting, Snapchat has attracted users of all ages, and has become a great platform for publishers to tell their stories in new and interactive ways. Among the 20 publishers who are currently publishing interactive articles, pictures, videos, and graphics on Snapchat Discover Channels, we chose to highlight the top 7 who are leveraging the platform to make the most of the holiday season.

1. Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed is anything but traditional. As a digital-only publisher, their content is the perfect fodder for social platforms, where a majority of Buzzfeed’s site traffic is attributed to – with 21% coming from Snapchat alone. For the upcoming holidays, Buzzfeed published an interactive food quiz to wrap up 2016 and “predict your 2017 future”. Pause the video anytime to see which food foretells your fate in 2017! (Hands up if you are crispy chicken wings like me!)

2. Vice

Vice’s interactive articles with scratchy hand-drawings are great counterparts to their no-nonsense brand voice. Vice’s content on Snapchat (and every other channel for that matter) shows a clear understanding of the way millennials perceive and interact with the news. With the help of their success in video, Vice Media is projecting rdaddphp billion in revenue by 2016.

3. Refinery29

Refinery29 recently hired a 10-person team to create entertainment news, fashion and health tips for their Snapchat Discover Channel. As a leading fashion media company, Refinery29 has the unique opportunity to make some big ad bucks on the platform with sponsored content. Combine that with their engaging original content on the platform, and it’s clear that Refinery29 and Snapchat are a match made in heaven. Check out this vertical video from Refinery29’s Discover Channel if you’re still looking for that perfect (affordable) holiday gift:

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4. Complex

Originally launched as a bi-monthly print magazine, Complex has evolved tremendously by launching its own digital content hub Complex Media to report on trends in “style, pop culture, music, sports, and sneakers.” In a ComScore survey of U.S publishers’ unique visitors, Complex ranked #3 in the 18-34 age demographic – thanks in part to their millennial-friendly insights that Snapchat has championed. If you think DJ Khaled and his thick beard are the only ones taking over Snapchat, think again: Complex will walk you through 29 more entertaining rappers you should follow. And while we’re on the subject of ridiculous celebrities, check out Complex’s list of the year’s worst dressed… while donning your favorite tacky sweater.

5. The Wall Street Journal

This legacy publisher was the first American newspaper to dive into Snapchat Discover in the U.S, and has been nailing it ever since. The WSJ team publishes five daily editions a week, and each edition is made up of 8 snaps that cover business and technology news. Unlike most of the publishers on Snapchat Discover, the Wall Street Journal’s snaps are pretty text-heavy, albeit much less so than their usual site content – each article usually requires only 30 seconds of reading. The following snap is a good example of how WSJ uses their channel to cater to younger professionals: by illustrating more serious topics in anot-so-serious way.

6. NowThis

As a specialist in news video distribution (and the #1 news video publisher on Facebook this year), NowThis feels right at home in their Snapchat Discover channel. With a similar focus on mobile video content, Snapchat and NowThis are a team made in digital media heaven. NowThis has a team of 10 creating content for the platform with a heavy focus on US politics, as well as a variety of trending news and feel-good stories. Check out how NowThis mashups rich media into a seconds-long video.

7. DailyMail

DailyMail was one of the first publishers to join Snapchat Discover. Their goal is to package their site’s extensive and detailed news stories into snaps that are “”bitesize and delicious”. Ben Blarke, head of design at, found that “turning editions around fast” is a top priority for their Snapchat team, who has been consistently “publishing seven editions a week with 10 or more stories in each edition” – including this holiday-themed celebrity spotting:

Li Zhao