Will Snapchat’s Bet on New Shows and Video Games Pay Off?

Snap’s slate of new games and shows will drive “deeper engagement,” one expert says, giving it an opportunity to attract more users and increase ad sales

Snap chief Evan Spiegel was the master of ceremonies on Thursday in West Hollywood, where his company revealed several new in-app experiences — including a fresh slate of original shows and multi-player video games —  to a room full of developers, creators, entertainment executives and Spencer Pratt. But he just as easily resembled a cautiously optimistic gambler in Las Vegas stepping up to the craps table, ready to spread his bets.

Now the question for Snap is this: After a rocky 25 months as a publicly-traded company, will his bets pay off?

On its new shows, Snap has taken a distinct approach: short, three- to five-minute episodes, shot vertically, without much star power but geared toward Snapchat’s loyal 13- to 24-year-old user base. (Spiegel mentioned on Thursday that the app reaches 90% of  13- to 24-year-olds in the U.S.) It’s a worthwhile move, equity analyst Michael Queller said, that differentiates Snapchat’s content from YouTube or Facebook’s Watch shows, which are longer and include older stars like Tom Brady and Will Smith.

“Everyone is glued to their phones with limited attention span, so the three- to five-minute video content seems like a good way to keep a user engaged,” Queller said.…

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Just a kid from the streets of Orange County, writing about tech