Bilingual social platform partners with Snapchat

Dímelo, featured on Snapchat Discover, is the only Annenberg-sponsored platform to produce content in Spanish. Photo courtesy of Dímelo.

A USC student-run media outlet will soon be accessible on Snapchat, thanks to a partnership between the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the social media company.

Earlier this year, Snap, Inc. began reaching out to several college campuses across the country, asking them to create weekly local campus editions for Snapchat’s Discover section.

Upon learning about this initiative, Annenberg associate professor Amara Aguilar worked with Snapchat to help expand Dímelo, a subset of Annenberg Media that creates Latinx and bilingual content, to reach wider audiences using the app.

Aguilar co-teaches a journalism course called “Social Media Storytelling for Diverse Audiences” with professor Laura Castañeda, which focuses on multicultural journalism. Students in the class produce content for Dímelo, which will be posted on Snapchat weekly starting Friday.

“I think we’re the only Latino campus media brand featured in this program right now, so that’s really exciting for us,” Aguilar said. “I think what’s really important is that students are creating the types of stories that they also consume and engage with, and this is a great opportunity for our Latino brand to have exposure and more engagement with our local audience.”

Since its inception in Fall 2016, Dímelo content has been shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Medium and Instagram. With this new partnership with Snapchat, editor Claudia Buccio, a graduate student studying journalism, has been working with Dímelo staff members to adapt to the app by creating shorter versions of what they typically post on other platforms.

“It’s been learning to choose snippets of a story that would be appealing to viewers so that they can tap on their screens and watch the whole thing, but at the same time it is also shareable on Facebook or on Instagram,” Buccio said. “It’s been fun because this is a whole new platform we are learning about.”

Photo courtesy of Dímelo

According to Buccio, Dímelo’s Latinx and bilingual content greatly appealed to Snapchat. Through weekly editions featured in USC’s geographic area, the Dímelo staff hopes to introduce its audience to Latinx culture, as well as the ins and outs of what it is like to be Latinx in the United States.

Additionally, Buccio hopes to help the audience feel included in the Dímelo community by producing both English and Spanish content.

“We are in Los Angeles, so it’s important to use both languages in a way that we are comfortable with it,” Buccio said. “Just having the opportunity of using a platform to voice that and also make it available to other students … It’s a way of bringing cultural awareness to our community, which at many times isn’t really represented on platforms, so Dímelo makes sure that that is not the case.”

In the future, Dímelo looks to further expand its social media presence by launching a Spanish-language broadcast for Facebook, as well as experimenting with virtual reality projects. Additionally, the students hope to continue their partnership with Snapchat beyond next semester.

“[Working with Snapchat] is already an amazing way of getting our voice into the conversation,” Buccio said. “It is a great opportunity for our students, regardless of their interests in media or entertainment or news, [because] there’s a different way of telling stories, and I feel like the platform is friendly for any of those options.”

Editor’s note: Daily Trojan news editor Tomás Mier also serves as the managing editor of Dímelo.