Snapchat aims to remove fake, age-inappropriate content and is issuing new guidance to publishers in an effort to clean up content on Discover, demanding that posts be "informative, factual and safe." The guidelines include stricter rules around content that's suitable only for those older than 18, and the company is requiring content to be checked to eliminate the possibility of fake news.
As part of a broader redesign unveiled last week, Snapchat is cracking down on “fake news,” click-baiting headlines, and other odious uses of its Discover news service. As such, publishers lucky enough to participate in the Discover service have been put on notice, according to The New York Times.
The move comes as Snapchat and its rivals (read: Facebook) are trying to secure their positions as preeminent news platforms. Fake news and click bait obviously threaten such efforts.
In response, Facebook recently declared all-out war on publishers of bogus news, and specifically targeted their ability to profit from such content.
Analysts said Facebook has the right idea. “The incentive for most fake news creators is financial rather than philosophical,” Susan Bidel, an analyst at Forrester Research, told me at the time. “If there is no financial gain to be had from creating and circulating fake news, it will dry up and the digital ecosystem will be improved.”
For its part, Snapchat is also developing tools to help publishers restrict consumers of certain ages from accessing inappropriate content, the Times reports.
Standing in stark contrast to struggling social networks like Twitter, Snapchat is thriving.
Indeed, despite direct competition from Facebook and other tech giants, the company is positioned for “explosive” growth in ad revenue over the next few years, per eMarketer.
The research firm recently predicted the playful messaging app would generate $366.69 million in ad revenues in 2016, and $935.46 million, this year.
Specifically, Snapchat’s Discover service generates 43% of ad revenue, which is its largest single share, according to eMarketer.
However, casting a shadow over Snapchat parent Snap’s success, a former employee recently accused the company of inflating its growth figures.