Is Google Stories Unwelcome Competition for Snapchat`s Discover Format

TechCrunch`s Josh Constine has an interesting take on the what the unveiling of Google`s new AMP Stories service means for Snapchat and its Discover platform. Snapchat rolled out Discover in 2015 as the first vertical slideshow magazine service for online content creators, and the new service has been successful at exploiting the popularity of the new format. However, it did not take long for Google to take notice, and at least for now, Snapchat seems to be taking a welcoming tone, choosing to view the leviathan as a potential ally and not as a foe.

However, Snapchat declined to comment on whether it would continue to require exclusivity from platform publishers. On the one hand, opening up Discover content to cross-posting on Stories could be a boon the fledgling medium and a long-term positive for Snapchat`s bottom line. After all, as Constine points out, Discover and Stories draw different demographics, so there is room for both services to grow. On the other hand, should Facebook and other competitors decide to enter the market, Snapchat may find itself forced to demand exclusivity, an imperfect solution since some Discover users might opt to go with Facebook over Snapchat.

At this point, there are some key unanswered questions about what Google`s arrival means. First of all, it is unclear how AMP Stories will appear in search results. In addition, the availability of quality authoring tools will be a deciding factor for companies choosing to publish on Stories. It is also not known what revenue splits will be like and how they will compare with Snapchat`s.

It may well be that Stories will encourage more outlets to embrace the vertical slideshow magazine, and Google`s venture might end up being a good thing for Snapchat. For now, at least, it seems that an uneasy alliance as forming between the two giants, with Snapchat viewing Google as a guardian against Facebook and not as a competitor looking to steal away marketshare.

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