Does Snapchat TV give the social networking app fresh relevance?
Social media are intriguing spaces for content creation. What catches up? What hits the mark? There’s no recipe to get it right. But anytime a social media platform experiments with something new, it’s worth a discussion as to the impact of the new feature or initiative.
In the past few years – and especially in the midst of the pandemic & lockdowns – over-the-top platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, have seen their competitors increasing in number. It hints at a larger pattern: people are consuming an increasing amount of content on-demand, making this a fertile ground for new players.
On the other hand, we’ve seen some social media platforms flailing to stay relevant. The social messaging app Snapchat – which practically introduced real-time multimedia messaging as a way of life – was overpowered by its competitor Instagram, who brought in the same features under a larger offering.
Whether you wanted filters, or stickers in your stories, or wanted to communicate with friends goofily, Instagram has you covered now, in addition to its original brand prowess as a photo-posting app.
Connecting the dots, it’s easy to see why Snapchat ventured into the on-demand content space with Snapchat TV, where you can find a number of Snap Originals, ranging from docuseries & drama all the way to unscripted formats. These include Will From Home, Nikita Unfiltered, Endless, Driven, Save Me, Compton Dreams, Players, and many others.
As per their website, they’re bringing, “new original shows from some of the world’s greatest storytellers, with interactive experiences you can step into and share. Comedy. Horror. Reality docuseries.”
The Solutions Committee: What’s in store?
Snapchat has now commissioned a new series, starring Jaden Smith as the host, called The Solution Committee. This unscripted series, helmed by Westbrook Media & Snap Inc., will be a part of the platform’s programming plans for the election year.
What’s the series about? The show will feature discussions with young activists & celebrities on creating impactful change around racial & other social justice issues. The theme seems very pertinent in today’s time. The eight-episode series will follow Smith as he spells out the reforms needed in the criminal justice system, in voting access, to combat climate change, and to promote access to quality education.
At a time when Twitter threads do most of this work, it’ll be exciting to see nuanced conversations on these topics, combining the power of celebrity influence with ground activists. Celebrity & activist guests on the show will include Hailey Bieber, Common, sister Willow Smith, Janelle Monáe, Phoebe Robinson, Yara Shahidi, and Lena Waithe.
When can we catch the show?
The Solution Committee will premiere on September 21, just in time for the National Voter Registration Day. Of course, we can expect Snapchat integration into the programming. This means that Snapchat’s swipe-up feature will be enabled to direct the eligible voters to the registration page. To us, this election awareness drive seems very actionable.
Snapchat has been working on engaging with first-time voters & encouraging them to register as voters for the November presidential election through a variety of features. The app is bringing back it’s highly successful 2018 midterms tool, the voter checklist card – to keep the younger voters updated on information about where & how to register.
The Solution Committee falls right into the agenda, as Snapchat aims to reach its 100 million US users. Jaden Smith was quoted as saying, “Historically people between the ages of 18 to 23 have been less likely to vote. This is because a lot of young people feel like they don’t have the information or know where to get it. This show is about educating the youth and making sure they feel empowered and ready to vote.”
Smith is donning the hat of an activist himself, by trying to spark this conversation & keeping the flames burning through his show.