What is Snapchat’s new feature Spotlight?

Every single day over 4 billion Snaps are sent over the social network Snapchat. To try and leverage content from these users, in November 2020, Snapchat rolled out a feature named, “Spotlight”, allowing consumers to share short-form videos publicly in its app. This new platform  is set to compete with the popular app TikTok and Instagram Reels, which launched earlier the same year.

Users, who are able to share snaps or stories with friends on the app, can now share them directly to Spotlight and garner more followers. More specifically, to quote the announcement post: “We built Spotlight to be a place where anyone’s content can take centre stage – without needing a public account, or an influencer following.”

These Snaps can be sent to Spotlight directly or posted to the ‘Our Story’ tab. The company says the Snaps from the private accounts will be featured in an unattributed fashion — that is, no name will be attached to the content. There will also be no way to comment on these Snaps or message the creator — allowing people to profit from their posts without having to develop Snapchat-specific personas or worry about being targeted by online bullying.

What’s more, as Snapchat launched its own music powered features too in October 2020, the videos users create can be backed to music from Snapchat’s library. Like TikTok, the videos in the Spotlight section can be up to 60 seconds long.

The Spotlight feed itself will be closely moderated. The company says all Snaps that appear on the new feed will have to adhere to Snapchat’s Community Guidelines, which prohibit the spread of false information, misleading content, hate speech, explicit or profane content, bullying, harassment, violence and other toxic content. However, Snaps in Spotlight won’t disappear from being surfaced in the feed unless the creator chooses to delete them.

Snapchat says its algorithms will work to surface the most engaging Snaps to display to each user on a personalised basis. This algorithm rank the Snaps based on how many other people found a particular Snap interesting, how long people spent watching it and if it was favourited or shared with friends, for example. The algorithms will also consider negative factors, like if a viewer skipped watching the Snap quickly.

The Spotlight feed will be accessible through a new fifth tab on the Snapchat home screen’s main navigation and can be found by clicking on the Play icon.

While Spotlight has officially only launched in 11 countries, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia so far, if the feature becomes popular, more countries are expected to be added.

Have you tried out Spotlight yet? Let us know in the comments section. If you’d like, you can also read some of our other posts on Snapchat here: