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Snapchat has outlined its plans to celebrate Black History Month, including themed Spotlight challenges, new AR filters, and a new partnership to ensure optimal representation across its various features.

First off, on Spotlight – Snapchat’s launching a new set of Black History Month Spotlight Challenges, which will see over $40,000 awarded to creators for taking part in specific projects aligned with the event.

Snapchat’s Black History Month challenges will be updated weekly throughout February, and will touch on a range of key themes:

  • February 1 – 7 – Share what #BlackExcellence means to you
  • February 8 – 14 – Show us what a day in the life at your HBCU looks like with #LifeAtMyHBCU!
  • February 15- 21 – Use a location tag for your favorite local #BlackOwnedBusiness and tell us why you support them!
  • February 18-24 – Educate Spotlight on the most interesting #BlackHistoryMonthFacts.

Spotlight, Snap’s take on the full-screen, vertical scrolling video shift, has become a popular addition in the app, with the company reporting this week that total time spent watching Spotlight content has grown more than 100% year-over-year. So while it’s essentially a TikTok clone, the popularity of the option once again underlines why apps replicate and copy such features. Because it works, and it keeps more of their users from migrating to other apps.

As such, it could also be a good way for Snap to promote its Black History Month initiatives.

Snapchat’s also launching a range of themed Lenses, created by Black artists:

“Today, Snapchatters can express themselves with a collection of augmented reality Lenses created by Black AR creators like EnochMasharzi McCannKathryn Hicks and more. On February 15, Snapchatters will be able to explore a new collection of Black History Month Lenses created by a group of seven Black AR creators.”

The themed Lenses will focus on three elements:

  • Rare and untold stories – Sharing overlooked facts about the Black experience and history.
  • Revisiting history and the promise of tomorrow – Recognizing how far we’ve come by spotlighting significant accomplishments and ideals for the future.
  • Diaspora – Discussing Black history as it applies to the diaspora, celebrating our differences and coming together in shared lineage.

That could help to highlight key messages via engaging AR experiences within the app.

Finally, Snapchat’s also teaming up with the Beauty in Inclusivity Association (BIIA), to ensure that there’s an optimal mix of representation and diversity across the app.

“BIIA is a new brand auditing and certification system that will work with corporations as a training resource to develop actionable goals and standards for business leaders to better prioritize diversity and representation across all areas of the beauty business. Snapchat will host a dedicated profile for BIIA-curated content to amplify BIPOC and allied creator voices as they share their unique stories.”

Black History Month is an important time to recognize and reflect on the past and current injustices within societal structures, and to consider how we can all contribute to improving such moving forward.

Snapchat’s looking to contribute to this broader conversation, and these themed concepts could be a good way to highlight such within the app.