Image messaging and social media app Snapchat has had its Stories page redesigned to increase exposure of commercial publisher's content and boost the company's ad revenue.
The new look, which goes live today, enables publishers to include an image and headline with each daily story in user feeds to increase visibility. The more popular user-contributed Live Stories will now compete for attention alongside them on both the Stories and Discover page.
In addition, Snapchat users can now subscribe to specific publisher channels so that they see unread stories below updates from friends on the Stories page, however non-subscription stories will continue to appear on the Discover page.
The change to the app signals Snapchat's latest effort to boost its advertising business, which remains its primary revenue stream. Currently 19 publishers regularly create specialized content for the platform in the U.S., including Buzzfeed, MTV, Mashable, and Cosmopolitan.
Users can subscribe or unsubscribe to channels by tapping and holding on a story, which should also allow Snapchat to evaluate the success or otherwise of its hosted publishers, while merging Live Stories with Discover should bring more exposure to its channels.
Snapchat reportedly surpassed Twitter recently in its number of daily active users. The redesign is being seen as an abandonment of its earlier strategy to charge users for particular features, and instead focus on increasing its shared publisher and advertising revenue through user clicks.