Snapchat doesn’t just care about video.
The company is behind a new online magazine called Real Life, which will publish roughly one article each weekday on the subject of technology, starting on June 27.
In a blog post today describing the new initiative, Snapchat employee and social media critic Nathan Jurgenson writes that “Snapchat is now funding Real Life.” In an email to VentureBeat, he declined to elaborate on the nature of the funding, but he did confirm that Real Life is “owned” by Snapchat.
“Real Life will publish essays, arguments, and narratives about living with technology,” Jurgenson writes. “It won’t be a news site with gadget reviews or industry gossip. It will be about how we live today and how our lives are mediated by devices.” (This sounds a little like the turf of New York Magazine‘s recently launched Select All.) The publication will cover beauty, power, privacy, and relationships, among other things, and “we aim to address the political uses of technology, including some of the worst practices both inside and outside the tech industry itself,” writes Jurgenson.
So now Snapchat will technically have web content that is visible on desktop computers. No longer will Snapchat be constrained to mobile devices. And, at least initially, the medium will be primarily text, unlike the video stories and snaps the Southern California company has become known for.
This could one day turn into a new venue for ads that could help Snapchat bring in more money ahead of a potential initial public offering (IPO), although “right now, we’re focused on the writing and ideas,” Jurgenson told VentureBeat in an email.
Real Life will have editorial independence, editor in chief Jurgenson writes. So he and his team, including Rob Horning, Alexandra Molotkow, Sarah Nicole Prickett, and Soraya King will presumably have final say over what goes on the site (rather than deferring to Snapchat executives).
Real Life is “fully funded” by Snapchat, a spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email but declined to comment further.