Snapchat Launches Spotlight as a Larger Threat to TikTok

By Thomas Price Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Social media, particularly short-form media, has become a larger and larger portion of modern-day culture. These small bites of entertainment have continued to be wildly popular since the advent of YouTube, followed by Vine, and now with TikTok. However, TikTok’s dominance has continually been challenged by many other social media apps such as Instagram, and now, Snapchat. After having already launched Snapchat Sounds earlier in the year, the company has been slowly building tools that can replicate TikTok while also advancing the many different augmented reality filters that have become a hallmark of the app in general. However, Snapchat clearly was not finished as their recent business moves, and the new launch of Snapchat Spotlight have proven that their run at TikTok is far from over. So, what exactly is Spotlight, and how has the business world responded to its launch?

Spotlight and the Acquisition of Voisey

Over the course of a week, Snapchat made two major moves that could put some serious threat behind their attempts to rival and overtake TikTok. The first of which for the company was the acquisition of the UK-based Voisey for an undisclosed amount of money. The premise of Voisey is to provide a platform for different instrumentals and backtracks both provided by the app as well as uploaded by all kinds of creators and users. These instrumentals are then used in videos of different users singing or rapping over them.

Voisey offers many different voice augmentation features as well, so people could choose to change the pitch or sound of their voice to better match their intention in combination with the instrumental. This acquisition could be seen as Snapchat trying to find their own niche within the short-form media game. With TikTok more involved with voiceover, dancing, and comedy, features to actually create music of this kind do not exist on the app. It is expected that Voisey will eventually be completely integrated into Snapchat or easily paired with it as a separate app in the near future, helping create a large amount of content for users to scroll through. More content has become a new major focal point for Snapchat, especially considering the launch of the company’s true competition to TikTok, Spotlight.

Spotlight is now the fifth tab on the bottom of Snapchat, with a strong focus on user-generated content. This will take many forms, however with the addition of Sounds on Snapchat, allowing for music from major artists in the background as well as the new acquisition of Voisey allowing for music created by users, it is clear that there are serious content tools being provided by the company. Spotlight will curate content to the user over time through the use of an algorithm. Since Spotlight is just now being launched, Snapchat is making a concerted effort to get users to start creating content. This has taken the form of a daily $1 million funding pot, which will be awarded to a collection of different creators who are the most entertaining. The money will be distributed based on total views, favorites, and if the users watched the clip all the way through. As it currently stands, Spotlight is available in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and France, with significantly more countries to follow.

How the Market Has Responded

Due to these rather aggressive and exciting moves by Snapchat, stock market investors responded rather positively. While Snapchat has been consistently trading around $40 per share after their strong quarterly report, the recent acquisition of Voisey and the launch of Spotlight has jumped the stock again. As of November 23, Snapchat’s stock is currently trading above $45 per share.

Final Conclusions

Snapchat’s recent moves have been a clear push to becoming the biggest competitor to TikTok without question. With cash incentives for those who are creating content along with more and more tools to help make that content as unique as possible, Snapchat has put more effort behind this than perhaps any of the other TikTok clones. Considering the already solid core user base, Snapchat could certainly make a major impact in the short-form media market that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

About the Author


Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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