In late 2013 Snapchat refused a buyout offer of $3 billion from Facebook, expecting they can do bigger and better. They are not saddled with trying to prove that they can be profitable. And they are going about it in some creative ways.
On Tuesday, the social network rolled out a feature called Discover which brings broadcast journalism to the app and allows major news networks to provide video news stories that will disappear of off Snapchat within 24 hours.
Backed by AT&T, they have no announced an original scripted series called SnapperHero. The series will run 12 episodes and have a superhero story line.
What makes this series unique, however, is the crowd-sourcing aspect of the storyline. Users will be able to send in their own “snaps” to form the story. They will be able to impact everything from the powers these heroes possess, to how the story takes shape.
To make this work, AT&T is bringing on social media stars that already have huge followings to star in SnapperHero. This will allow them to gain an instant audience for this series as well as get a large pool of users to get input from for the direction of the show.
As far as the impact this could have on the profitability of Snapchat? That’s still up in the air. AT&T will pay for the production of the series, and Snapchat will host it. But the social network won’t be seeing any profits from this venture.
That being said, it’s going to be interesting to see how Snapchat’s two latest announcements play out. This is a departure from the media that we are used to in the current environment. The series won’t be readily available for instant streaming like it would be on Netflix (24 hours and the episode is gone).
This might just be different enough to work. Or not. Let’s see how it plays out.