Snapchat launches Spotlight to take on TikTok and Reels

Alonzo Simpson
November 23, 2020

This post has been updated to clarify the age restrictions for earning from Spotlight content.

Shares of Snapchat parent company Snap, Inc. were up 4.2 percent Monday morning, at $46.15. The system is set up so that it does not matter how many subscribers a person has, as the payout is calculated based on views per video as a percentage of total views to Spotlight in one day.

Its new Spotlight feature will use an algorithm to recommend "the most engaging" posts to watch based on what a user is interested in.

Right now, Snap is launching Spotlight in 11 countries, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia. "It's a fair and fun place for Snapchatters to share their best Snaps and see perspectives from across the Snapchat community", said Snapchat on its blog. To encourage users to post regularly, Snapchat said it'll split $1 million between the most popular creators on the platform every day.

Videos on the platform must be up to 60 seconds long, have no public comment section and can not contain watermarks - a possible decision against TikTok videos.

In some ways, Spotlight looks similar to TikTok and Instagram's Reels.

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As far as the prize money is concerned, Snap decides who gets how much through its "proprietary formula, which takes into account various engagement metrics and other factors during each day". The total amount distributed should total up to United States $ 1 million by the end of this year.

Just like any Snaps, content that will appear on Spotlight will have to adhere to the platform's community guidelines.

Although users will be able to connect to the full song in their player, there is not an option to see videos featuring the same song - a key feature offered by TikTok.

This feature will allow Snap to diversify the entertainment content available to users, CNBC reported. Typically, it's Snapchat that has been leading the way, pushing concepts like video Stories and augmented reality, and older rivals like Facebook and YouTube have been trying to keep up.

That's according to Joseph Philleo, a USC undergraduate student in mathematics, economics and machine learning and self-described "Millennial tech adopter" who discussed his thoughts on Quora.

More mature internet users may feel comfortable and confident being themselves in any online forum.

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