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Snapchat announces its first raft of scripted TV shows

Social media site is using augmented reality to help promote the shows

Snapchat is aiming to increase its popularity with the smartphone-first generation with the launch of 12 new scripted and reality TV series.

The new Snap Originals will cross drama, horror, comedy and docu-series and will be produced exclusively for the social media site. Each episode will be around five minutes long, shot in vertical video, and released daily.

“We’re building real relationships with viewers,” said Sean Mills, Snap’s head of original content. “To me, that looks a lot more like television than other what other tech platforms, which are tuned around ‘here’s a video that has an abnormal amount of views’.”

To promote the new original shows, Snap is using augmented reality experiences — including “portal lenses” for select shows where users can swipe up from an episode and interact with objects and characters. Snap also developed custom interactive Lenses, including reaction Lenses for some of the shows’ pivotal scenes, encouraging users to share the show experience with their friends.