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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Not your mother’s CNN. Our year on Snapchat Discover.

Entered in Snapchat


CNN on Snapchat Discover is changing how the next generation thinks about and consumes news.

Through customized daily editions, CNN's Snapchat channel delivers the most pressing, interesting and impactful CNN reporting of the past 24 hours from around the world. And, it's all told in a visually compelling style that's unique from what you'll find on any of CNN's other platforms.

While CNN is a legacy media brand, on Snapchat the company stretches and reinvents what's considered to be the "traditional" news experience. To showcase this, CNN launched its inaugural "Year in Snaps" in December 2015.

This engaging interactive experience walks the user through some of the biggest news stories of the year, from the gay marriage vote to the Paris attacks to climate change and the refugee crisis. Faithful CNN readers will recognize the brand's commitment to integrity in storytelling, but they'll also notice that those stories have been shaped into bolder, more dynamic and more personal takes than what they're used to seeing from CNN.

Strategy and Execution

At the heart of CNN on Snapchat is a commitment to giving its user an all-access pass to the world around them and the news stories that matter.

To do that, CNN relies on a small but hardy and skilled team of designers, editors, writers and animators to curate, refine and shape CNN's content specifically for Snapchat's audience. This team leverages the work of CNN's correspondents around the globe, collaborating with those on the ground to make issues like the crisis in Syria more accessible for an audience that may not ordinarily keep up with global issues.

For example, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta filmed a snap while working with a humanitarian organization trying to bring emergency services to the war-torn country. In that vertical video, users were able to see and hear from a recognizable face who was right in the thick of an intense story, and could become intimately aware of what's happening to other young adults like themselves.

For the 2016 elections, CNN's Wolf Blitzer filmed snaps from debate night in Las Vegas, breaking down whatever top moderator really needs to know on such a tense night.

And with the topic of climate change, CNN opinion columnist John Sutter partnered with CNN's Snapchat team to forge new methods of storytelling and audience participation within the app. Through this collaboration, CNN's Snapchat channel produced three special editions solely focused on global warming and the discussion around 2 degrees Celsius, and found ways to engage with the audience on their biggest questions and concerns. When Sutter was in Paris for the climate talks at the end of 2015, he brought Snapchat's users along with him.

In addition to video and written pieces from CNN's talent, CNN on Snapchat also leverages graphics and data visualization techniques to help break down important statistics and details into snackable bites of information.

And it's not just the global crises that CNN covers. The company's Snapchat Discover channel also regularly dives into the facts and the faces involved in topics this audience cares about, from sexual assault on campus to employment after college to the debate surrounding the legalization of marijuana.

No matter the topic, whether it's silly or serious, celebratory or crushing, CNN on Snapchat delivers it in a polished, mobile-first format that's easy to consume. That includes delivering major breaking news stories, such as with the Germanwings crash in March 2015 or the terror attacks in Paris in November 2015. While Snapchat Discover is built to be a 24-hour digest similar to a newspaper, CNN always keeps in mind the urgency of delivering the most up-to-date information possible to its audience at all times, wherever they may encounter CNN content. Please visit our Year in Snaps interactive, linked below. It shows every edition and ever snap we've ever created in 2015.


By being on Snapchat, CNN is reaching a new demographic that ordinarily doesn't benefit from the brand's global access in a native mobile experience.


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