The parent company of the social media application known as Snapchat recently moved closer to halting clickbait, as it has revised its guidelines for content that is allowed from partners.
An IPO is expected to be filed in March that could grant them as much as $25 billion. They look to reduce a great deal of what partners such as the Daily Mail, BuzzFeed and Cosmopolitan can post in the “discover” section”.
These new guidelines come with the hope that they will be able to “keep Snapchat an informative, factual and safe environment for everyone and give Shapchatters more choices in how they view and engage with content that may be sensitive,” the company said recently.
Snapchat now has roughly 150 million visitors each day, which still leaves them in Facebook’s shadow of just over 1 billion users.
New guidelines put in place by Snapchat do not allow content that includes profanity, sexual content or violent content in the title section. Any publisher that seeks to post such content will be require to put valid warning labels to warn viewers of what lies ahead. There is always an exception to the rule and this one is the news. If content publishers wish to feature can be proved as being newsworthy instead of being clickbait, they may then post, but the warning must still be in place.
Snapchat has also attacked the way “fake news” is handled, stating that anything posted must be accurate and fact-checked and that any link posted cannot be “deceptive, misleading or fraudulent”. Publishers are also not allowed to say that they are someone they are not, create a false company profile or use or create any other content that may mislead, deceive or confuse users.
This new change in guidelines and posting policy comes after Snap was sued last year. The mother of a minor Snapchat user stated that the app often showed explicit content to youngsters without appropriate age restrictions in place. The suit was settled out of court.
A Snap spokesperson was quoted as saying they take responsibility for being a good source of news, information as well as entertainment, and they take that responsibility very seriously.
The Discover section of Snapchat’s app has long been critiqued for tabloid-like features. The change in the tone of that section, however, could help the app’s ad offers and move them further along with those who are considering an investment in the ads section.