Snap announces Spotlight, a vertically scrollable TikTok-like feed inside Snapchat, and will pay $1M every day to users who create the top Snaps through 2020

snapchatAfter taking on TikTok with music-powered features last month, Snapchat this morning is officially launching a fanatical place within its app where users can watch short, entertaining videos via a vertically scrollable, TikTok-like feed. This new feature, called Spotlight, will showcase the community’s creative efforts, including the videos now backed by music, as well as other Snaps users may find interesting.

Snapchat says its algorithms will work to surface the foremost engaging Snaps to display to every user on a personalised basis.
To do so, it’ll rank the Snaps within the new feed employing a combination of factors, like what number of people found a specific Snap interesting, how long people spent watching it if it had been favorited or shared with friends, and more. The algorithms also will consider negative factors, like if a viewer skipped watching the Snap quickly, for instance . Over time, the feed will become tailored to the individual user based on their own interactions, preferences, and favorites. This is a similar system to what TikTok uses for its “For You” feed.

However, on TikTok, only users with public profiles can have their videos hit the “For You” feed. Spotlight, meanwhile, can feature Snaps from users with both private or public accounts. These Snaps can be sent to Spotlight directly or posted to Our Story. The company says the Snaps from the private accounts are going to be featured in an unattributed fashion — that is, no name is going to be attached to the content. There will even be no way to comment on these Snaps or message the creator, Snapchat explains.

Users who are over 18 can opt into public profiles in order to have their names displayed, which allows them to build a following. But while this enables users to private and directly reply to the creators, there aren’t any public comment mechanisms on Spotlight.

That’s a distinct setup than on TikTok and gives Snapchat the way to avoid the much larger hassle of handling comment moderation.

The Spotlight feed itself, though, is moderated. The company says all Snaps that appear on the new feed will need to adhere to Snapchat’s Community Guidelines, which prohibit the spread of false information (including conspiracy theories), misleading content, hate speech, explicit or profane content, bullying, harassment, violence, and other toxic content. The Snaps must also adhere to Snapchat’s new Spotlight Guidelines, Terms of Service, and Spotlight Terms.

To encourage users to publish to Spotlight, the company will distribute over US$1 million a day to Snapchat users (16 and up) who create the top Snaps on Spotlight. This will continue through the end of 2020. The earnings are going to be determined by Snapchat’s proprietary algorithm that rewards users supported the entire number of unique views a Snap gets per day (calculated using Pacific Time), as compared with others on the platform.

The company says it expects many users to earn money from this fund each day, but those with the most views will earn more than others. It will also monitor this feed for fraud, it warns.


Snapchat says Spotlight is live today on both iOS and Android in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and France, with more countries to come soon.