Snapchat adds news, entertainment content to messaging service

SAN FRANCISCO - Snapchat has partnered with CNN, ESPN and nine other media companies to feature videos and articles on its mobile messaging service, a move that heightens the competition with social networks such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc.

Snapchat's new Discover service features individual"channels" for its various media partners that include five to 10 stories a day, according to Snapchat, which announced the move on its official blog on Tuesday.

After 24 hours the stories disappear, in keeping with Snapchat's trademark feature of private messages that disappear a few seconds after they are viewed by users of the service.

The addition of news and entertainment content represents the latest expansion for Los Angeles-based Snapchat, which has become a popular communications tool for teenagers. In November, Snapchat partnered with online payments company Square to offer a service that lets users send money to each other.

The new Snapchat features reflect the growing competition among mobile messaging apps and social networks to entice users to spend more time on their free, advertising-supported services.

Snapchat, which previously turned down a US$3 billion (S$4 billion) offer to be acquired by Facebook according to a person with knowledge of the matter, has been valued at US$10 billion in its most recent fundraising effort, according to media reports.