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How Snapchat Spotlight works: TikTok-like feature explained
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(Pocket-lint) – Snap has a new section in Snapchat, called Spotlight, which is designed to surface users’ viral TikTok-like videos.
What is Snapchat Spotlight and how does it work?
Spotlight is a dedicated new tab in the Snapchat app. Videos – or Spotlight snapshots – appearing in this section are up to 60 seconds long.
When you tap Spotlight, you’ll see Spotlight Snaps based on what Snapchat’s algorithm thinks you want to see (likely influenced by what you’ve seen in the past and how long you’ve watched). Keep in mind that Snapchat already allows users to submit their snaps to a Snap Map location for anyone to take a look at any given time or place. Unlike how this feature is typically used, Spotlight is specifically designed for viral TikTok-like videos.
However, unlike TikToks, Spotlight snaps won’t have a public comment section, and user profiles are private by default.
Snapchatters can therefore keep their accounts out of public view while posting content in Spotlight. In fact, anyone can submit their snaps to Spotlight for others to see. you just need to press “Spotlight” when posting to send it to the section. Snap said it’s even paying some creators to post – promising to shell out more than $1 million among the app’s most popular creators per day through 2021.
Snap said it would message you directly through Team Snapchat if you won, along with a link to a third-party payment provider (Hyperwallet).
How to post a Spotlight snap
Spotlight snapshots are a type of snapshot that a user can send to the new Spotlight section.
You capture them like any other snap (there’s a guide here), but instead of sending them to a friend or your story, you send them to Spotlight. Snap said Spotlight shots should be vertical videos with sound. If you try to send photos of still images, horizontal Snaps, blurry Snaps, or text-only Snaps, they won’t show up in Spotlight.
Create a Spotlight Snapshot
- Open the latest version of the Snapchat mobile app.
- Press and hold the Camera button to create a video snapshot.
- Tap the toggle button to switch between selfie and rear-facing camera.
- You can also double-tap the screen to switch cameras!
- Press the lightning bolt button to turn the flash on or off.
- Stop holding the Camera button to complete your recording.
Send a Spotlight Snap
- Create a snap (see above).
- Tap the Snapchat send icon at the bottom to access the Send To screen.
- Select “Spotlight” at the top of the “Send To” screen.
Snap recommends that you add a #topic on the Send To page so others can participate or explore more Snaps like yours, and you use creative tools like captions, sounds, lenses, or GIFs to make your snaps stand out. You can send snaps from your camera roll or memories, but Snap has told users it wants to “see your best stuff”. It may also limit the number of snaps you can submit to Spotlight in a certain amount of time.
Snap has a guide here that walks you through the creative tools you can use to create a Spotlight snap. It even details how to delete a Spotlight snap.
How to Find Spotlights
It’s easy. Follow these steps:
- Open the Snapchat mobile app.
- From the main camera screen, swipe right to left twice.
- The first swipe will take you to the stories. The second hit is Spotlight.
- Once in Spotlight, swipe up to load new videos.
- Along the side of a Spotlight video, you’ll see options to:
- Bookmark the video for later.
- Like the video.
- Send the video.
- Menu to access details like sound and creator profile.
The search icon at the top of Spotlight also lets you search Snapchat for more Spotlights by hashtags.
Are there Spotlight Snap examples?
You can see examples of Spotlight snaps in Snap’s announcement tweet:
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The best of Snapchat. Sit back and enjoy, or submit your Video Snaps and you could win a share of over $1,000,000 a day. Happy snapping! https://t.co/U7eG7VNJqk pic.twitter.com/mxGWuDSdQk
— Snapchat (@Snapchat) November 23, 2020
Where is Snapchat Spotlight available?
At launch, Snapchat is available in 11 countries: US, UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.
Want to know more?
See Snapchat’s Spotlight FAQ for more details.
Written by Maggie Tillman.