Snap is the latest to copy TikTok with "Spotlight" — it's all about "The Three Vs"

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks |
_America's Next Top TikTok Copycat is..._

America's Next Top TikTok Copycat is...

What's next, FleetTok?... Last week, Twitter copied Snap's Stories feature with Fleets (only four years after Facebook copied it). ICYMI: Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube also have Stories. And of course, Facebook/Insta also copied Snap's AR Filters (avocado crown FTW). Now, Snap is doing some copy-catting of its own with its new "Spotlight" tab.

  • This TikTok-like section of Snapchat serves up viral vertical videos (we're calling it: "Three Vs" content). You basically just scroll up endlessly with no escape.
  • The "Three Vs" = TikTok's not-so-secret sauce. Viral vertical videos, paired with ridiculously addictive algorithms, helped TikTok grow from 11M US users in January 2018 to over 100M today.

Not so Renegade, Renegade... Copying popular features is standard MO for social apps. And Facebook has been aggressively pushing vertical videos on its Tok-competitor "Reels." But Snap is doing Three Vs a bit differently:

  • Cash Giveaways: Snap will divvy up $1M between the most popular video creators each day for the rest of 2020. It's all based on views from that day.
  • Viral For All: TikTok and Reels also shell out $$$ to incentivize creators, but they're more geared toward famous influencers. Snap says you don't need a public account or a big following to make it on Spotlight.

This is new (complicated) territory for Snap... Before, users could only see snaps posted by friends or by publishers in the Discover tab — there was no "going viral on Snap." But with all the scrutiny around viral misinformation and hate speech on Facebook and Twitter, Snap is moving into moderation-heavy (and risky) territory. That's probably why it isn't allowing comments on Spotlight videos.