The New Yorker's Snapchat is mesmerizing
Tapping through my Snapchat stories one afternoon, I was arrested by a rudimentary doodle. “This Week’s Cover” it said in neon scrawl.
This simple snap was everything I didn’t know I needed in my life.
Since then, The New Yorker's Snapchat stories have become an obsession for me, a singular piece of high art among a cluttered tweenscape of brands and celebrities.
The New Yorker cover editor Françoise Mouly appears on Snapchat — more often than not holding an espresso — to give a behind-the-scenes look at the latest edition before it hits newsstands. She names the issue's cover artist and says things like “old tropes” and “captionless,” her hypnotic voice soothing the too-loud air conditioning of the The New Yorker’soffice.
As a publisher not on Snapchat Discover, The New Yorkerreaches their audience via its My Story account. A few times each week, it snaps thoughtful conversations on humor, culture and art. But on a platform geared toward a demographic that doesn’t know the difference between The New Yorker and New York Magazine, it might seem out of place. Their Snapchat is everything you’d expect from a 91-year-old literary magazine that suddenly finds itself on a messaging app for teens — in the best way possible.
The account is understated almost to a fault. People that appear are nicely dressed, and the tone is clever and subtle. The New Yorker doesn’t use much by way of emoji, doodles or onscreen text. Snapchat filters are peppered in to inform and entertain, not to waste time. And the "sound agnostic" parameters of the platform certainly haven’t stopped the magazine from making snaps its own way.
The account isn’t even easy to find. There’s no Snapcode (the QR code that links to Snapchat) in the magazine, and The New Yorker Twitter account only pushes to Snapchat occasionally. The Snapchat username is newyorkermag in case you were wondering.
What seems like blatant disregard for Snapchat’s unofficial rulebook of platform recommendations is totally on-brand. As newyorker.com editor Nick Thompson puts it, their approach is “smart, literate, artistic and funny. And New Yorkery-y…New York-y.”
The New Yorker's Snapchat is everything you’d expect from a 91-year-old literary magazine that suddenly finds itself on a messaging app for teens.
The shots are thoughtful, and the pacing is good. The occasional shakiness or lack of camera focus is a metaphor for something, I’m sure of it.
Their account is a gem in a sea of half-baked Snapchat strategy. While publishers fall victim to “Hey Snapchat! Look at me!” and promise to satiate your curiosity gap with celebs and nail art, The New Yorker remains unapologetically itself.
Personalities talk politics and race, pop culture and film. They invoke the same excitement for knowledge that drew me to the magazine before Snapchat even existed. It's a beacon of hope for the future of smart content in a place that’s often seen as a nest for just the opposite.
The channel has experimented with regular shows, with some standouts like Mouly’s cover stories. There’s comic expert Colin Stokes, known internally as “the young guy with all the groupies.” Always unflappable, Stokes serves up the comic contest of the week, sometimes accompanied by social media manager Ella Riley-Adams. We’re also regularly treated with deskside chats with longtime film critic Richard Brody.
And as it turns out, Snapchat is not in their contracts. There’s no quota to fill. They genuinely enjoy it. And if the magazine's audience is anything like me, they can’t get enough of it.
They’ve also recently moved beyond the walls of the office, covering the Stuart Davis exhibit at the Whitney Museum in downtown Manhattan last month, along with other "New Yorkery-y" events. It's a great way to experience the city through the The New Yorker’s unique — and unfiltered — lens.
A few times each week, I turn up the volume on my phone. It feels strange and almost unnatural, but the familiar personalities put me instantly at ease. Now please throw on some headphones, so that you, too, may fully appreciate the delight that is The New Yorker on Snapchat.
It's a beacon of hope for the future of smart content.
文章： The New Yorker's Snapchat is mesmerizing
作者：BY SAM REICHMAN