How to write for Snapchat? Some lessons by Le Monde
Jean-Guillaume Santi is the Snapchat Discover Manager for Le Monde. He gives us his advice to begin our writing on the social network that seduces the youngest.
When we talk about the Le Monde media, we visualize instantaneously the institution. But the giant is far from immobile since in September 2016, when Snapchat launches Snapchat Discover in France, the media is part of the adventure with 7 others: Tastemade, L'Equipe, Cosmopolitan, Konbini, Paris Match, Vice And Melty.
This arrival, Le Monde manages it with talent. The exercise is far from being simple. Between the weight and seriousness represented by the media brand and the ephemeral dynamics of the social network there is a gap that must be filled with intelligence. Jean-Guillaume Santi, Snapchat Discover Manager for Le Monde, confirms: "Between the processing of a dozen vertical videos with a real work of graphic design and motion design, the questions of organizations that this raises and the need to industrialize The process, it took a lot of work for several months ".
But today, this rhythm that keeps the info marathon on Snapchat is well and brings changes.
Change the writing
Snapchat has changed the way information is treated at two major levels: "Firstly, Snapchat is a universe in which you have to be incentive but do not fit into the logic of clickbait, especially as Le Monde. Titles like "5 things about François Fillon, the 5th will surprise you," it's just not us, that would make it sound false. It is a balance that we measure constantly. Secondly, Snapchat requires a real attention to the mobile. The simple fact that the videos are made in vertical, in 9:16, changes the markers. This also forces us to focus on infographics, long scrolls, intertitles ... Everything is thought in its mobile version ".
Snapchat forces editors to reinvent itself around profiles that are not journalists but write information: motion designers, graphic designers ... all find themselves designers of information. As Snapchat Discover Manager for Le Monde explains, "it is exciting to work with people who are not journalists. But this implies developing a common language. Sometimes an effect is graphically very beautiful but, from an editorial point of view, will induce a meaning that is not the intended one.
Change the pace
Jean-Guillaume Santi is convinced of it: "a good Snapchat Discover edition is a rhythmic edition." The key is to alternate formats (text, video, computer graphics ...), alternate short and long time, and especially learn to deconstruct: "With Snapchat, we have learned to deconstruct the vision of the information hierarchy we acquired on the web or print. The order is constantly moved. The sports card can be as n ° 3 as in n ° 11 for example. We are also trying to always invent new formats. New ways of telling the news. It is a form of permanent brainstorming on the content and form. The reader must have made a tour of the news while having seen different things. All in twenty minutes. "
Try a different approach
It is said that the 15-24 year-olds (who constitute Snapchat's audience heart) have a minimal capacity for attention and that they must therefore be provided with “snacks” that are quick to consume and that we would have to rejoice for 5 seconds of their attention. The testimony of Jean-Guillaume Santi proves the contrary "we regularly have averages to more than 2 minutes on certain articles", the curiosity and attention are therefore there on political or international subjects like Mosul or Aleppo. "We have anecdotes of journalists who, when they find themselves with their children, are surprised by their knowledge on certain themes. For example, the son of a 14-year-old journalist once explained to his mother the dysfunctions linked to the the electoral college during the American presidential campaign. The parents, surprised, discovered that they have developed their knowledge of the subject in "the Snap of Le Monde". It's pretty funny.