If you’ve updated your Snapchat app recently, you’ve probably noticed the new “Discover” feature, accessible by swiping right on the main screen. If you’re like me, you probably have no idea what Discover is or does. You also probably don’t think you’ll ever use it unless you’ve exhausted all other social media outlets while studying. But before you make any more judgments, here’s a little more information about the new feature.

Discover is a new part of Snapchat featuring 12 companies, including CNN, Cosmopolitan, The Food Network, National Geographic, Yahoo! News, and more. Each company updates their sequence every 24 hours. These ad-free sequences can include videos, photos, headlines, articles, recipes, quizzes, and any other interactive feature they feel will capture their audience. For example, the CNN’s Discover sequence is full of news headlines and, if the user swipes down, the full text of the articles. The Food Network’s sequence, however, features recipes, cooking tips, and tutorials.

Upon Discover’s release, Snapchat emphasized that “this is not a social media” because it “count[s] on editors and artists, not clicks or shares, to determine what’s important.” In other words, Snapchat intends this new feature to be its own form of an information outlet—not a place to share one’s information with others.

Snapchat has always been targeted at young adults between the ages of 15-25, and this new feature will make news more accessible to the audience that uses Snapchat on a regular basis. A more informed younger population is important to society as a whole because awareness leads to open-mindedness and action.

If users do use Snapchat as their news outlet, what does this mean for the news organizations that lose hundreds or thousands of views on their actual websites, not to mention losing those who still choose to pick up physical copies of the latest edition? The coming weeks and months will answer these questions and concerns as Snapchat users open their minds to their newest feature.

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