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Snapchat Forks Out $1m Daily For Viral Hits

Snapchat Clones TikTok & Reels With "Spotlight"

After being on the sharp end of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Google, LinkedIn, YouTube and now even Spotify ripping off Stories, Snapchat has discovered that “borrowing” other people’s ideas can work quite well.

With new kid on the block, TikTok, running amok, Snapchat has sort to get in on the act with the launch of Spotlight.

Spotlight is a place inside Snapchat where users can watch short videos in a vertically scrollable feed.

Snapchat has thrown some considerable financial weight behind its new idea, and it’ll be giving away $1 million per day to creators who share their content on Spotlight. With advertising opportunities, no doubt not far behind in 2021.

As well as the financial incentive, Snapchat has also announced a new feature called Captions – specifically designed for use in Spotlight. Content creators will also be able to shoot continuously for longer and trim Snaps.

What’s The Deal?

Snapchat made its name on the back of disappearing pictures, but unless a creator chooses explicitly to delete their Spotlight Snaps, they will remain in the feed.

Spotlight looks and feels like an effort to muscle-in on some of the bits that make TikTok so engaging and popular with its users. The feed is highly reminiscent of TikTok’s, as are the creative efforts such as music and captions, that help videos stand out from the crowd.

We’re seeing a proliferation of TikTok-lite apps and updates being developed across social media. Instagram has tried to reclaim some of the short-form video space with Reels, and Spotlight feels similar to both.

Spotlight’s Efforts To Be More Than A TikTok/Reels Clone

One thing that sets Snapchat’s offering apart from Reels or TikTok is the stipulation that any content uploaded to Spotlight has to be unique.

It can’t be ripped off from a meme or a TikTok – which is a problem Instagram Reels is facing right now.

How can you build credibility as a platform if the content is repurposed from your main competitor and reposted, often with TikTok branding? Snapchat thinks they’ve come up with a few around this thorny issue.

Another point of difference is that Snapchat users don’t have to have public accounts to submit content to Stoplight; something TikTok demands. Viewers won’t be able to message or comment on content submitted from a private account, either.

In this sense, the playing field has been opened up to a much larger variety of potential creators than Reels or TikTok can boast.

Understand Spotlight Algorithm Rankings?

Users submit content to Spotlight in a way that’ll be familiar with anyone who uses Snapchat: 

  1. Record a Snap
  2. Hit the ‘send to’ button
  3. Look for the Spotlight option at the top of your screen, above your list of Stories, Best Friends and Recents
  4. Send to Spotlight, or Our Story
  5. Hit send

How videos are displayed on the feed comes down to a number of factors, such as:

  • How many people found a Snap interesting
  • How long people watched a Snap
  • How much a Snap was favourited or shared

However, Snapchat will also consider negative factors in their ranking system, such as how often viewers skipped over a Snap.

Just like TikTok, the more a user watches, uses and interacts with Spotlight, the more tailored and personalised the feed will be based. Unlike TikTok, users with private profiles can submit their snaps to Spotlight.

Earn A Share Of $1 Million

Creators will earn a share of that $1 million pot based on how many views their content gets, in comparison to how the other content uploaded on that day performs.

To be eligible, Snaps have to follow a set of content guidelines:

  • Must be vertical videos, with sound, that last no more than 60 seconds
  • Must include a #topic hashtag
  • Snaps can only use music licensed from Snapchat’s Sounds library
  • Snaps must be original content
  • Must make use of Snapchat’s Creative Tools, if possible
  • Must be appropriate for a 13+ audience.

Snapchat have committed to monitoring each Snap uploaded to Spotlight to ensure there are no hints of fraud, such as users artificially boosting their view count. Earnings are paid out on a daily basis, and there seems to be no limit as to how much each user can earn.

These $1 million payments will continue until the end of 2020, and may even be extended into 2021.

Spotlight is being rolled out cautiously and is currently only available in the following countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, UK, US.

Anyone else stoked for when LinkedIin rolls out its version in 2023…

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