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France's Le Monde Extends Edition for Young via Snapchat Discover

Taps into ballooning use of the social network among the country’s millennials

April 4, 2017

One of the first traditional media brands in France to experiment with Snapchat’s Discover feature when it rolled out there last September, newspaper Le Monde has announced a plan to continue publishing a daily Discover edition—featuring news aimed at younger users—through March 2018.

Le Monde describes its Snapchat edition as a made-to-measure “retailoring” of the day’s news in a “digest for a less experienced audience.”

Usage statistics for the Snapchat Discover effort have not been released, but Michael Szadkowski, Le Monde’s editor in charge of innovation, said in a press release that “after the success of the launch, the daily editions have progressively attracted a faithful audience of young people.”

Looking to Snapchat to reach younger readers is a shrewd move on Le Monde’s part. The messaging app has become one of the most popular social media platforms among France’s millennial internet users.

A January 2017 study by Diplomeo of social media users ages 17 to 27 found Snapchat was the second most popular network after Facebook. Almost nine in 10 female respondents and 77% of male respondents were registered users of Snapchat, compared with an average of 93% of respondents for Facebook.

Select Social Media Platforms on Which Young Adult Internet Users in France Are Registered, by Gender, Jan 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

Snapchat usage by younger internet users in France is up notably from Q4 2015, when a study by Médiametrié examined the top five social networks in use at that point.

It found just under 44% of France’s internet users ages 15 to 24 used Snapchat back then, well behind Facebook’s 82% penetration rate in that age group. Among older groups, including those ages 25 to 34, Snapchat failed to make the cut entirely.

Despite its popularity among teens and millennials, Snapchat use isn’t particularly widespread in France even now. A Harris Interactive study conducted in February 2017 noted that just 17% of internet users ages 15 and older had used Snapchat in the previous month—about the same percentage as used Instagram (19%), LinkedIn (18%) and Google+ (17%).

Nevertheless, Le Monde’s Snapchat Discover edition has provided at least one old media brand a means of reaching a highly coveted cohort of consumers digitally.

—Cliff Annicelli

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