According to a recent report, Snapchat is officially the most used social by users aged between 18 and 24 years with a significant increase even amongst the pre-adolescent audience. Although the competition of Facebook and Instagram was ruthless, the company established by Evan Spiegel (class of 1990) seems prepared for the next step: as announced by the Head of Content, Nick Bell, on Wednesday 23 August at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Snapchat will launch its first scripted shows by year’s end, thus officially entering the audio-visual market. The entry has already happened, given the many agreements signed over the past months, including partnerships with NBC, ABC, BBC, Vice Media, and a 100- million-dollar agreement announced in June with Time Warner.
“Mobile is not a TV killer”, Bell said. “It’s capturing the audience who are not probably consuming TV in the traditional way”. However, Bell remains realistic: “Mobile is the most complementary thing to TV, but is still a different medium for its content and use: the long-form content, i.e. the prolonged storytelling or TV programmes, isn’t suited to a smartphone screen. That’s why our videos won’t be longer than five minutes”. They took a different approach from that of Facebook Watch and Bell is aware of this: “We want to create a new mobile language”.