Snapchat, the messaging service that leaves no trace, is getting into the news business according to the Wall Street Journal. As traditional media struggle to retain readerships against the incursions of curators like Facebook, Snapchat makes a compelling pitch to media partners: it’ll deliver news for them. It’s as if Snapchat is the new paperboy–printed on fast-disintegrating paper. In the meetings, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel can say things like this: our 27 million users send 500 million snaps a day. And the average user checks the app 14 times a day. And…well that’s enough. (And if he wants to he can say “and I’m 24” but you don’t want to really piss people off.)
Snapchat’s news arm will contain advertising, which has been verboten in the Snapchat universe so far. Companies do use Snapchat for promotion, of course–because it’s a medium and that’s what companies do. Snapchat doesn’t get a cut of promotion, however, but advertising is a different story. Snapchat Discovery is the name of the service. It’s putting a new spin on “yesterday’s news.” Make that last minute’s news. Last second’s news. It’s coming in November. And it’s disappearing then too.