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How The Economist engages young audiences on Snapchat Discover

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Embracing Snapchat has ‘led to the biggest step change’ in its readership since The Economist was founded in 1843.

The Economist has been using Snapchat Discover since October 2016, joining over 40 publishers on the platform, including the BBC, The New York Times and Mashable.

Lucy Rohr, the publication’s Snapchat editor, was sceptical at first and she wasn’t convinced the publisher would be right for the platform, but The Economist is now getting 7.1m unique visitors through the door every month.

“The audience for Snapchat was vast and young – it was going to be the Economist talking to 14-24 year olds,” she said, speaking at the Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin on Tuesday.

“We had to translate our very specific editorial voice to the platform, but we did not ‘dumb ourselves down’ – we realised that to underestimate the intellect of the younger audience, and their discernment, is a real mistake. It turns out that there is a segment of this audience that is globally curious.”

Rohr explained that when setting out to create interactive snaps, 10 second looping videos, the team, whose five members are on both sides of the Atlantic, decided to produce deep-dives into single topics as opposed to trying to cover a variety of different issues.

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