Snapchat recently revealed its live video feature — Snapchat Live — in a very limited capacity.
The 2018 Winter Olympics was the perfect place to test out Snapchat Live’s new system.
On February 7, 2018, Snapchat announced that it would “pipe snippets of NBC’s Live Olympics coverage directly into its app,” TechCrunch reported. Then, TechCrunch reached out to Snapchat and asked an interesting question:
Would users be able to go “live” and broadcast events, live happenings via their accounts?
A Snap spokesperson got back to the technology site and said “that there’s no intention to open up broadcasting to Snapchatters.”
Snapchat’s reasoning? Snap users have never asked for “Live broadcasting abilities, and the company doesn’t see many use cases for them.”
Focusing on live television
Snap Inc.’s Snapchat Live goal is to transmit live television moments that are culturally relevant to Snapchat users.
Snapchat’s first go of providing its “live” service was, as we stated earlier, at the beginning of the Winter Olympics. The service only transmitted snippets of the events, though.
The social media site will only go “live” with certain, special moments. TechCrunch explained that “Snapchat won’t broadcast whole sports games or award shows, but says that it could stream the most important parts of big events, like the Oscars awarding Best Picture.”
Snap Inc. says it’s opting for this “highlight” service rather than total live-streaming, or broadcasting because most general users’ live-streams aren’t… interesting.
Yes, this assumption is a bit mean, but it’s true. If broadcasting became a new feature, its presence could grate on users for a few reasons.
First, the feature would generate notifications that most people don’t care about. TechCrunch mentioned that this frequently happens on Facebook and Instagram.
Second, TechCrunch explained that “unskippable content might seem slow and boring compared to the fast-paced clips people are used to on Snapchat.”
How Snapchat Live works
Snapchat’s Live video player is unique because it features “the full horizontal TV stream in the bottom quarter of the screen,” per TechCrunch. From here, “users can tap to choose which vertical slice they want to see zoomed into in the top three-quarters of their phone.”
“Users will be able to sign up for notifications about all future Live broadcasts, or just ones about specific sports,” TechCrunch added. And notifications will pop up at the top of a user’s “Friends list if someone is subscribed and currently in the app”.
The social media service thinks that big events, such as the Olympics, “could pull in giant ad deals and lure new users to Snapchat,” TechCrunch wrote. “But the long-term success of the app depends on the core products, like the camera, ephemeral messages and Stories. Choosing not to pollute those with dull, haphazard Live broadcasts from users could ensure Snapchat lovers stay loyal.”