How Le Monde cracked Snapchat strategy: part 1 - Reuters News Agency

How Le Monde cracked Snapchat strategy: part 1

French publisher Le Monde recently reached 1 million followers on Snapchat. We spoke to editor Jean-Guillaume Santi to learn how they did it.

By Sarah Emler and Alice Rizzo | Oct 25, 2015

Le Monde recently reached 1 million followers on Snapchat.

With over 700 published editions in less than three years, and a rise in mobile use to access news, the editors successfully managed to address a young audience looking to engage in global matters.

We spoke to Le Monde’s Snapchat Discovery editor, Jean-Guillaume Santi, about the key figures and what he would recommend when it comes to addressing young audiences.


80% of readership is under 25

Le Monde introduced Snapchat in 2016 when the app decided to expand internationally. “Our average reader is 45-years-old in print.”

On Snapchat, 80% of the readership is younger than 25-years-old. “It was a new audience we were interested in addressing”, explains Santi. “We constituted a little team that was tasked with pilots, to find our editorial line on Snapchat. We launched on September 15, 2016. That was the first edition that we published.”

The strategy and reason behind going on Snapchat for Le Monde is pretty straightforward: get young readers used to Le Monde’s brand in the hope that, when they get older, they subscribe to the online edition.

The general idea is that the more they read our edition on Snapchat, the more they are accustomed to our brand. If they want serious news they can go to Le Monde’s website”

Jean-Guillaume Santi, Snapchat Discover editor, Le Monde

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Breaking news and major events work best – up to 10 times better!

“We found that the content which performed through the roof is breaking news and major events”, says Santi.

This means, it performs 5 to 10 times better than their general content. “For instance, for the French Presidential elections, we published several editions throughout the day. We were there at 8pm, the time the victory of Macron was announced, and we had an edition already ready, which had a million viewers in the first day.”

However, surprisingly, this got beaten by the French rock singer, Johnny Hallyday, who died last December. “Since he was an old rock singer, we didn’t think that young people would be interested in him. But it actually attracted a bigger audience than the French President Macron.”

When the outcome of the US presidential election in 2016 was announced, “It generated a large audience and a lot of questions on Snapchat. Readers would write to us saying they were worried about where the world would go after the victory of Trump, for instance.”

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Higher audience engagement with personal stories

“When the #MeToo movement descended one year ago, we asked the female audience how it felt to be a girl today in 2018 and how they experienced daily sexism or aggression and if they felt like the #MeToo Movement would help them?”

We did receive a lot of video-snaps in which teenagers talked about how they were still victims of sexism in middle schools or high schools in 2018.

We then anonymized those testimonies, compiled them in a video and published it. We obviously did talk about Harvey Weinstein when it broke a year ago, but quickly shifted to the experience of our audience and how this could change their life.”