December 15th, 2015

Snapchat is launching a TikTok-like tab called Spotlight and offering users $1 million to submit entertaining posts

Snapchat SpotlightSnapchat

Summary List Placement

Snapchat is gunning for TikTok with a new app feature called Spotlight, a curated, scrollable feed of short videos generated by users.

Spotlight will occupy the fifth tab inside the Snapchat app, replacing what used to be the dedicated Discover tab.

Clicking into the feature opens up a feed of user-generated posts (or snaps) where users can broadcast their skills to a bigger audience.

Anyone who wants to submit a snap to be featured on Spotlight can do so through the Chat tab.

Here's a GIF from Snapchat showing how it'll look:

Snap Spotlight GIFSnapchat

The feature is noticeably similar to TikTok's "For You" page, or FYP, the rolling feed of user-created clips that show up when you first open the TikTok app. TikTok's FYP is lightly curated, albeit by an algorithm that learns to show you more relevant content over time.

Snap's Spotlight has a few differences.

Unlike TikTok's FYP, it won't be the first thing you see when you open the app. And because Snapchat is by default a private platform, users have to explicitly submit posts to show up in the Spotlight tab — snaps aren't automatically blasted out to a large public audience. User profiles are private by default, and Spotlight won't feature public comments, though you can like and forward entertaining snaps. The company does say, however, it'll learn people's preferences over time and show more tailored content.

The idea seems to be to enable Snap to extract maximum value and views by broadcasting entertaining clips more widely that may otherwise only be seen by one person, or a small group of people.

To try and prompt Snapchatters to share their best material publicly, Snapchat is offering a daily $1 million funding pot to be distributed between the most entertaining creators. You don't need to be a professional influencer, and the cash is distributed based on how many people watch your clip, how long they watch it, and whether they favorite the clip. You do need to be over 16 years old — here are the full terms.

The feature is initially available in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, with more countries to follow.

The new feature is yet another indication that Snapchat is eyeing TikTok's creativity crown. Business Insider reported exclusively on Thursday that its parent firm Snap had acquired TikTok-like songwriting app Voisey, potentially with an eye to surfacing new artists through Snapchat.

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