Snap Names a New Head of Content as it Goes After TikTok

Sarah Favot

Favot is an award-winning journalist and adjunct instructor at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She previously was an investigative and data reporter at national education news site The 74 and local news site LA School Report. She's also worked at the Los Angeles Daily News. She was a Livingston Award finalist in 2011 and holds a Master's degree in journalism from Boston University and BA from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.

Snap Names a New Head of Content as it Goes After TikTok

Snap promoted executive Ben Schwerin to be its new senior vice president of content and partnerships, as the company seeks to grow its content business to challenge rival TikTok.

As part of the reorganization, Chief Strategy Officer Jared Grusd, who previously oversaw content, will become a strategic advisor to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel.


"Ben has been a part of our team for six years and he has done a wonderful job building our partnerships around the world across Sports, Music, Media, and Creators. Most recently, we're really excited with the growth we've seen in Snap Kit, Games, and AR," Spiegel said in an emailed statement on Friday.

Schwerin will have more direct oversight of Snap's content and international expansion teams, while Grusd will focus on Snap's international expansion and long-term objectives.

As part of his role, Schwerin will lead the company's new feature called "Spotlight" which launched in November as a rival to TikTok, where users produce short videos.

Snapchat announced in November that it would distribute more than $1 million every day to Snapchatters who create the top videos on Spotlight. One user, The New York Times reported, has earned nearly $3 million in five weeks from the company for posting content that went viral.

Spotlight highlights videos from Snapchat on a user's feed based on an algorithm and pays money to the creators of the most-viewed videos each day. It expects the feature to be an area of growth for the company.

A spokesperson said the company is looking for a senior leader for Spotlight who will report to Schwerin.

"I'm grateful to Jared for his friendship and for the many contributions he made to Snap in his role as chief strategy officer," Spiegel said. "I look forward to his contributions in his new role as strategic advisor, where we can leverage his strategic insights as we look for opportunities to accelerate our long-term objectives."

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The Streamys Reveals The Disconnect Between Online Creators and Traditional Media

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

tiktok influencers around a trophy ​
Andria Moore /Charli D'Amelio/Addison Rae/JiDion

Every year, the Streamy Awards, which is considered the top award show within the creator economy, reveals which creators are capturing the largest audiences. This past Sunday, the event, held at The Beverly Hilton, highlighted some of the biggest names in the influencer game, chief among them Mr. Beast and Charli D’Amelio. It had all the trappings of a traditional award show—extravagant gowns, quippy acceptance speeches and musical interludes. But, as TikTok creator Adam Rose told The Washington Post, the Streamys still lacks the legitimacy of traditional award shows.

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Slingshot Aerospace Raises $40 Million to Expand Space Object Sensor Network

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Slingshot Aerospace Raises $40 Million to Expand Space Object Sensor Network
Photo: Slingshot Aerospace

Slingshot Aerospace, the El Segundo-based startup developing software for managing objects in space’s orbit, raised $40.9 million to build out its global network of sensors and recruit new customers both private and public.

The round was a follow-on to Slingshot’s $25 million Series A-1 raise in March.

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Can EV Charging Companies Survive Without Multiple Revenue Streams?

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

charging station
Blink Charging

It ain’t easy being a charging company…or at least a lot of them aren’t making it look easy. Between reports of abysmal charger uptime, declining stock values, lack of standards and meaningless jargon (is “hyper” really faster than “ultra?”), the race to electrify America’s roads has been a bumpy one. For Miami-based Blink Charging, however, the solution to smoothing the transition may be about becoming more than just a charger company.

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