As a writer and editor on the Snapchat Discover team at The New York Times, I was involved in pitching stories to and with the team, and determining which were best for our audience and mission. I helped to create feature stories, longforms, single snaps and special editions, all of which required different textual angles and types of copy. Additionally, I wrote “More News” three times a week, which was our team’s daily briefing.
I worked Election Night and created the copy for three breaking-news snaps (and accordant longforms) as results from races across the country came in. This complemented the news briefing and evergreen snaps in order to round out the edition.
Routinely, I will write copy for the “feature” snap, or the lead story. That will usually be multiple snaps, requiring enough context to frame the story while also leaving out just enough to push viewers onto the next snaps and into the longform. This feature came from a story about young women in the workplace just starting their careers.
Single snaps distill entire stories into one frame, without a longform. Here is an example of a story in which I did this — poking fun with the narrative, too!
This special edition was based on an archival project called Past Tense, which tells stories using photos from The Times archives. The piece itself was complemented by a narrative essay. To tell the story on Snapchat, I organized the photos by topic and slide and wrote a script to bind them together.
Special editions take one story and use the entire day’s edition to tell it. This was a situation where we updated an older package with a news peg, and otherwise laid out the numbers behind the U.S. military.