Let’s read the tea leaves here, Peter Hamby leaving CNN for Snapchat:
Peter Hamby, widely recognized by Beltway insiders as one of CNN’s best political reporters, is leaving the network to join Snapchat as Head of News, the On Media blog has learned.
The network is characterizing Hamby’s move as a changing role within CNN, which is true insofar as the network’s partnership with Snapchat will allow him to continue as a CNN contributor on air and online through 2016. But Hamby’s official role will be with Snapchat.
The rapidly growing social media application has been moving toward news with a feature called Snapchat Stories, which allows users to create stories through video clips, and Snapchat Discover, a similar feature for news and entertainment organizations like CNN, Vice and National Geographic. Between the two, Snapchat is sitting on seemingly limitless user-generated content that can be used to offer viewers an inside perspective on everything from the Coachella music festival to the Baltimore protests to the 2016 campaign trail.
Everything in politics is now carefully stage-managed. Every news event, if the people under the radar can help it, is an attempt at planned event coverage. And there are people and mobile devices and the most prolific social platforms in the world at all of those things. This makes sense.
Now, just as soon as you get filters for elephants, rhinos, Hillary and whomever on Snapchat, you’ll know you’re on to something here.
The other thing is the UGC aspect of it. On one hand, the sense of immediacy of Snapchat, the now-and-only-now 10-second feel of it, probably takes care of itself, to a degree. On the other hand, doing good UGC verification on something as fleeting as a 10-second (or less!) image or video is going to be a big task.
The media effects implications in all of this are impressive, to say the least.