Snapchat Adds Refinery29 Discover Channel

Snapchat - H 2015
Courtesy of Snapchat

Snapchat - H 2015

The women's lifestyle brand is the fifteenth publisher available on Snapchat's media platform.

The newest channel to join Snapchat's Discover platform is Refinery29

The women's lifestyle publisher appeared on the media platform on Monday morning with a slate of original content designed specifically for the app, including hair styling tips, fall wardrobe advice and an interview with up-and-coming designer LaQuan Smith

Snapchat Discover now features 15 publishers in the United States, including ESPN, CNN, Vice and Comedy Central. The media platform, which lives alongside Snapchat's disappearing photo and video messaging, gives each publisher its own channel to program daily. Content disappears after 24 hours. 

Snapchat, which claims nearly 100 million daily active users, has made a number of changes to Discover since it launched earlier this year, swapping out some publishers for new additions like BuzzFeed and Tastemade. Discover also launched with a Snapchat programmed Snap Channel that featured original series Literally Can't Even, concert series Under the Ghost and other programming, but that channel was shut down in September. 

New edition Refinery29 has been posting its own content to Snapchat for the better part of a year and eyed the Discover platform as a new way to expand its reach. The two companies began talking over the summer about adding Refinery29 to the platform, says co-CEO Philippe von Borries. He adds that they are treating it as an experiment. "We're at the beginning stages of teasing out what works and what doesn't," he says. "You need to be super nimble and take feedback to tweak for the next day." 

Refinery29 has designated a team of 10 from around the company to produce original daily content for Discover. The company expects to receive user engagement data at the end of each day that they can use to inform their decisions about what content to upload the following day. "We were really strategic about creating a schedule," explains Amy Emmerich, executive vp programming at Refinery29. She says that the team has created franchises that will make up the bulk of content with one-off videos, illustrations and stories helping to fill in the holes based on what the audience is responding to. "I still have memories of programming schedules back at MTV," says the longtime TV producer. "This is not that much different." 

Unilever is sponsoring Refinery29's channel at launch. The publisher is producing original ads for Unilever's brands, including spots for TRESemmé that streamed on Monday. Irish clothing retailer Primark is also signed on as a brand partner.