Updated at 9:08 a.m. on Dec. 29, 2016
Snapchat has become an important player in the social media landscape, especially for younger demographics. While it has mostly been used by celebrities and individuals, many journalists and news organizations use Snapchat as a fresh way to deliver the news and connect with audiences.
But part of Snapchat’s particularity is in its difficulty in finding other people on the platform. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, users can’t simply search for someone within the app. They need a handle or a phone number, which limits discovery.
Here are some of the best Snapchat accounts to watch as a journalist:
Al Jazeera English: ajenews
After a bit more than a year on Snapchat, Al Jazeera English is among the news organizations doing the best journalistic work on the app. AJE typically gives its Snapchat handle to journalists covering visually striking stories such as protests against the South Korean president in Seoul following her corruption scandal.
The media organization relies on its network of 80 global bureaus to cover underreported stories, especially on a platform like Snapchat. For example, the audience also watched and waited as AJE journalists were trying to enter Gambia before its election, when the then-president had closed its borders.
The New Yorker: newyorkermag
The New Yorker is very regular in its content; there’s not much surprise in what you’ll find in terms of format. But it’s interesting to get glimpse of their editorial choices and interactions with readers.
Each week, they publish a story to show how they choose the week’s magazine cover, and a story where they interact with the audience, asking them to contribute captions for their cartoons.
BBC News: bbcnews
The BBC regularly posts immersive stories that are either shot natively or through a different app and later uploaded to Snapchat. Most of their Snapchat stories cover international news like the dismantlement of the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais, France, or the battle in Mosul, Iraq. They also recently launched the “100 Women” initiative to highlight important women around the world, such as Alicia Keys and her #nomakeup initiative or Denise Ho, a Hong Kong singer and activist.
Most of the BBC’s Snapchat use takes a more traditional broadcast approach. Their journalists act and report like they would in a television news segment, and they generally don’t use all of Snapchat's tools, such as lenses or stickers. However, the BBC uses Snapchat’s immersive factor to its advantage, focusing on human stories so its audience can feel connected and drawn to people on the other side of the world.
Others accounts worth watching
BBC Newsbeat: bbc_newsbeat
This BBC account focuses more on news, entertainment and issues in the UK.
Hochkant: hochkant (In German)
Hochkant is an initiative from a German public broadcaster targeted at younger audiences. Even though it’s in German, it’s worth watching if only a few times to see their strong, innovative visual storytelling.
National Geographic: natgeo
National Geographic posts snaps of beautiful visuals of landscapes,animals and more filmed across the world. Its journalists are more informal on this platform, and show you around the wonderful and little-explored places where they are reporting. John Stanmeyer, a National Geographic photographer, understood the app's power very quickly and used it both for the company and his own account.
Yusuf Omar: yusufomarsa
Omar is known for his innovative use of Snapchat, especially for a recent story on rape survivors. He is always on the run and carries his cellphone with him. He captures beautiful and quirky scenes of India, but also other countries where he travels for his work as The Hindustan Times’ mobile editor.
Omar is creative in his use of Snapchat and is always trying different features and new ways of creating striking visuals or stories, even when they’re light and funny ones.
Liz Plank: lizplank
Plank, a journalist at Vox, shows a more personal side, giving a light, informal take on American politics and women’s issues. She can talk about feminism one minute and then joke and snap photos of her pizza the next. She also shares projects she’s working on.
Jabin Botsford: jabinbotsford
If you want to know what it’s like to follow President-elect Trump around the country, add Botsford, a photojournalist with The Washington Post. He manages to capture the atmosphere at political rallies in his photos and Snapchat but he also shows what you don’t see in his photographs published on The Washington Post: the daily work of a pool reporter, eating with the Secret Service on the plane, rushing to get to the motorcade on time or being checked by security.
Oz Katerji: ozkaterji
Katerji is a journalist at Turkey's TRT World. He publishes news stories on his personal accounts, interviewing refugees, showing protests and scenes from the Turkey-Syria border, for instance.
Geertje Algera: missgeertje (sometimes in Dutch)
Algera is a Dutch journalist and trainer. She is particularly known for making intimate, complex human stories with just her mobile phone. She’s been on Snapchat for a while and is always experimenting, sharing bits of her life, training workshops and stories.
Jacob Soboroff: jacobsoboroff
The MSNBC correspondent is very active on Snapchat, especially during the U.S. elections. He shares behind-the-scenes snaps in his newsroom and on assignment with a more casual twist.
Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via barnimages.com.