Over the last two months, Snapchat (iOS, Android) has experienced an exodus of users. The company reported its slowest user growth to date in May and fewer log-ins from members who used to visit daily.
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel blamed the app's recent redesign that received a cold reception from popular influencers.
Starting today, Snapchat users can watch 12 original programs like the comedy Co-Ed, mystery-thriller Class of Lies, and the Laguna Beach docuseries Endless Summer. Snapchat tapped talents like the Duplass Brothers, creators from Netflix's Riverdale, and creators from Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Snap Originals goes deeper (literally) than just watching a show. With Show Portals, users can swipe up and virtually explore a scene from the show. Snap Originals will have Lenses, Filters, and other classic Snapchat ways to interact with the program and share the experience with friends.
A typical episode might run five minutes long, perfect for binge-watching.
With this in mind, Snapchat's venture into exclusive TV content could prove successful. Streaming services like Hulu (Windows, Mac), Amazon Prime (iOS, Android), and Netflix (iOS, Android) release platform-exclusive content frequently.
The BBC argues that Netflix's original shows like Stranger Things and The Crown make the service more popular. Hulu knocked it out of the park with original shows like the Handmaid's Tale and Castle Rock, both expected to have more seasons. Amazon Prime's Jack Ryan series had a second season contracted four months before season one aired.
Snapchat isn't the first social media network to attempt TV. Instagram launched IGTV in June. By September, the shine had worn off for users. Instagram announced yesterday that IGTV is developing 10 original shows.
Instagram could present itself as a competitor for Snapchat's initiatives, as its following is a bit more stable.
With the release of Snap Originals, Snapchat might see old users return and new users sign up for the promise of quick, topical shows in multiple genres.
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- Snapchat hopes to see users return with the creation of Snap Originals. The feature will include 12 original shows exclusive to the app.
- The company could capitalize on the popularity of exclusive programming like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
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