As the future of TikTok continues to hang very much in limbo, Snapchat has decided to launch its own short-form video feature called Spotlight. It’s built right into the main Snapchat app but otherwise looks pretty much exactly like TikTok.
Spotlight is notable from the rest of the Snapchat app in that it aims to help users create viral content; Snapchat has always been, for the most part, about keeping in touch with friends and posting about your daily life. Oh, and Spotlight content can be monetized. That, too, is important to note.
At this point the TikTok format is intimately familiar to social media users — even by those who have never used the actual TikTok app. That’s because almost every social media network now has its own take on TikTok’s general formula. Meme-y, short-form videos are just inescapable, at this point.
A million dollars! — Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, really wants to entice users to create content on Spotlight, and it’s ready to fork over some cash to do so. The company says it’s put aside $1 million to be paid out to the most popular video creators on Spotlight through the rest of 2020.
That million dollars could be split a number of ways. If one user happens to create an extremely viral video, they’ll receive a more sizable portion of the pot — and they can keep earning for days on end if it stays popular.
A little more private than TikTok — Though the Spotlight tab will generally follow the now-standard TikTok formula, Snapchat will be sticking with its relatively private roots for some features. Users’ profiles are still private by default, which means if someone sees your Spotlight video they won’t be able to see the rest of your Snaps. And there aren’t any public-facing comments — a feature that’s very popular on TikTok.
Joining the ranks — Snapchat created a social media sensation with its Stories feature, the first ephemeral posting option on mainstream social media. That same format has since spread to (and become very popular on) Instagram and even spawned the horror known as Fleets.
Now Snapchat is on the receiving end of the innovation. Perhaps most surprising here is that it’s taken this long for Snapchat to get on board; Google soft-launched its own TikTok clone in September, and Instagram’s Reels went public all the way back in August. By next year it’ll be more shocking if your platform doesn't have a TikTok clone than if it does.
Spotlight launches today in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and France, as well as seven other countries.