What is Snapchat TV? The app’s new attempt to stay relevant explained
Snapchat is a weird app. It started as an application mostly for people who wanted to share nudes. You take a pic, send it to whomever, and then moments after its viewed the image goes away. However, it quickly became popular for anyone and everyone who wanted a quick & easy picture based method of communication.
Since then, the app has experimented with everything from news stories to a money transfer function like PayPal’s in order to become everyone’s new go-to application. However, it appears Snapchat isn’t done trying new things. The social media platform has announced they’re doubling down on their “Snap Originals”.
What are “Snap Originals”?
Snap Originals likely calls to mind similar phrases such as Netflix Originals, Hulu Originals, etc. Which, believe it or not, is actually the right track. Snapchat has for sometime now created content specifically for their phone app. It’s likely where Instagram got their idea for IGTV (remember when Instagram copied the stories format from Snapchat?)
Quick videos containing news, celebrity gossip, and more have been viewable and shareable in Snapchat for years now. However, shortly after Quibi launched, Snapchat has announced they’ve made years-long agreements with various creators including Disney, Kevin Hart, ESPN, Anthony Anderson, and more.
Snapchat intends to create unscripted shows, docuseries, and even scripted shows in various genres. The director of Snap Originals said in a Variety article, in regard to the budgets of shows, “Some will be $50,000 per episode, some less, some significantly more – the creative needs to justify it. We’ve been flexible with it.” For videos which average only five minutes in length, those are extremely high budgets.
The current numbers
Snapchat boasts over 125 million users who have viewed news on their app. Which is impressive, because the app definitely skews young. Their main demographic is gen Z, with a dash of some of the younger millennials using it too, since the last of millennials were in high school when the app originally grew to popularity.
The reports for 2020 so far say Snapchat currently has approximately 229 million accounts which are used daily, and about sixty Snap Originals have monthly audiences of ten million.
The new shows coming
The new Kevin Hart show in the works for Snapchat is called Coach Kev (Laugh Out Loud). It’s described as an unscripted show where Hart provides advice and inspiration to viewers.
Move It is intended to be an immersive show showcasing popular dancers, and Fake It will be a show where make-up artists create optical illusions on their faces.
As for scripted shows there’s Frogtown, which will be directed by Twilight’s director – Frogtown will be about an all-girl skating group, but that’s all we know at this time. Action Royale is going to be about an underground eSports gambling ring – talk about modern. And Total Badass Wrestling is going to be a wrestling themed drama.
Minis and more features
Meanwhile, while people are waiting for more Snap Originals, at this point we have to assume gen Z really does watch these, Snapchat has also announced Minis. These are small third-party apps integrated into Snapchat for ease of use, and sharing with friends.
Snapchat is starting with seven Minis to start with. These include meditation, and even a coordinating your Coachella schedule app, which you can use while IMing friends. Other options include movie ticket buying and flashcards for studying.
At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, that’s not all! Snapchat seems desperate to be a one-stop app. There’s now an identification option where you can take pictures of plants and dogs in order to identify the type or breed – it has a 90% success rate.
Snapchat is also boasting new games, a business platform which acts like a Google Maps and Yelp hybrid, and a public snaps option which allows people to submit their posts to categories for the whole world to view – essentially like making an Instagram post with a hashtag on it.
These aren’t the only things Snapchat is doing and it seems like too much. It’s like the creators have never heard the concept of quality over quantity. How users don’t get overwhelmed is beyond us – that’s why we don’t use it much, it makes us feel like grandparents that can’t tell the difference between a browser and a search engine.
However, their numbers are still favorable and you’d be hard pressed to find someone in gen Z who doesn’t have the yellow icon with a white ghost on their phone screen. It seems so far they’re doing something right.