Snap Inc. is adding a new product feature to Snapchat called Spotlight, which promotes the posts it determines are the most “entertaining” on its social platform.
As extra incentive for users to adopt the new feature, Snap is also planning to award $1 million a day, at least through the end of 2020. The prize may be received by individuals or it may be shared.
Rankings of popularity are determined via a “proprietary formula,” the company said in a blog post. Variables in the formula reflect how people engage with the messages, as captured by unique views, viewing time and the number of people favoriting them. Spotlight honorees don’t have to come from users with public accounts or from well-established content creators like influencers or celebrities.
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In that sense, the blog post noted, the feature is “designed to reward creativity in a fair and fun way.” The company’s five-tab navigation, announced earlier this year, will now include a Spotlight tab on the lower-right of the bottom of the home screen.
COVID-19 has boosted the fortunes of a number of mobile and social offerings. Snap reported an 18% rise in daily users in the third quarter, to 249 million. It also said revenue jumped 52%, with a small profit as opposed to the loss that Wall Street had expected. Shares in the company have powered to record highs of late, closing Friday trading at 44.29, up 5% on the day.
Spotlight is launching in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and France, with other countries being added soon.
Compared with social rivals Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat has not faced intense criticism over its role in spreading harmful material. Nevertheless, the company is emphasizing that Spotlight will “prohibit the spread of false information (including conspiracy theories), misleading content, hate speech, explicit or profane content, bullying, harassment, violence, and much more.” Any messages submitted to Spotlight will also have to meet community guidelines.