NEW YORK: With CNN launching a daily news program on Snapchat and YouTube adding a ‘breaking news’ feature, current events are emerging as a battleground for social platforms at a time when Facebook’s dominance, in the US at least, is being challenged.

According to research firm eMarketer, by the end of this year Snapchat will have more US users aged between 12 and 17 than Facebook (15.8m vs 14.5m) while it is reported to have already overtaken it in terms of “daily ad reach” in the 13-24 age group.

“For teens and increasingly for young adults, Snapchat is a very, very sticky platform, and one that they turn to again and again over the course of a day,” said Debra Aho Williamson, analyst at eMarketer, in comments reported by the Financial Times,

News organisations are responding accordingly and moving onto this social platform to reach a generation of users that is less likely to tune into traditional TV.

NBC News is reported to have a 30-strong team producing its twice-daily ‘Stay Tuned’ show, which claims to have reached almost 30m unique users in its first month, and CNN has just launched ‘The Update’ which runs once a day supplemented by breaking news.

That latter’s focus will be hard news, according to TechCrunch , with a likely focus on topics that CNN has already found resonate with Snapchat users – climate change, race relations, and politics and international affairs – and revenue being generated through Snap Ads.

The development follows hard on the heels of YouTube’s announcement last week that it was starting to roll out a ‘Breaking News’ section in people’s feeds, a move TechCrunch suggested might appear an “unusual direction for the site” but pointed out that many rolling news broadcasters already put content on the site and that Google’s AMP offers new publishers a path to readers via social.

“The impact on marketers really depends on whether content is generated by editorial staff or algorithmically and how space will be sold,” observed Charles Crotty, Digital Strategy Lead at media agency Spark Foundry.

“If YouTube is looking to position itself as a breaking news service, Facebook and Twitter will no doubt put serious clout into adapting their product plans given the weight and breadth of Google’s talent and ability to deliver. For brands, this is a ‘watch this space’ moment.”

Data sourced from TechCrunch, Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff