Tag Archives: Snapchat Stories

Tap to advance: the rise and rise of the horizontal story

Snapchat's horizontal navigation

Another month, another set of new feature launches: this time the longform blogging platform Medium announcingSeries‘, a “new type of story”, then days later Facebook announcing its ‘Messenger Day‘ feature.

Last month it was Instagram‘s Carousel feature and WhatsApp‘s Status feature.

What all have in common is the almost unquestioned use of a horizontal storytelling mode: a move from scroll-based navigation to navigating through a swipe or a tap.

What does that mean for journalism and storytelling? I think it’s about time we asked. Continue reading

Snapchat for journalists: a great big guide

Snapchat for journalists

I’ve put all these posts – plus a whole lot of extra help and examples – in this ebook

A few weeks ago I started writing a post about Snapchat for journalists. It ended up so long that I decided to turn it into a small ebook. But I thought I’d split that original draft – just under half the length of the finished ebook – across a number of posts here on OJB. I hope you find it useful.

In a long history of technologies journalists have struggled with, Snapchat could be the most frustrating of all.

On the one hand: promises of insane engagement and impressive advertising rates.

On the other, however…

Well. Firstly there’s the ephemeral nature of the tool: creating content designed to disappear is precisely the opposite of what journalists aspire to.

Secondly there’s that obtuse-to-the-point-of-arrogance interface that can be summed up with the advice ‘Just swipe somewhere.

And then there’s the amateurishness of the content.

If you struggled with the limitations of 140 characters, Snapchat takes things to a whole new level: vertical video, over-emotional stickers, and the choice between a) using a typeface that makes you look like a government bureaucrat in 1978, or b) scrawling bright red text on the screen like a demented crayon-wielding five year old.

Landscape video shown vertically

Fusion fail to realise that Snapchat is a vertical medium

But still…

There is that engagement. And an audience you can’t easily reach elsewhere.

And to be honest, once I got my head around Snapchat, I started to see storytelling possibilities that other platforms simply don’t offer. And I hope you will too. Continue reading