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Snapchat unveils slate of original scripted shows

Tim Maytom

Snap has announced partnerships with a number of Hollywood production companies as it unveils a new collection of scripted shows that it will distribute via its Snapchat app. The serialised shows, which will add new episodes daily, are Snap's latest attempt to draw in new users after its growth slowed earlier this year.

Among the shows are Growing Up is a Drag, a coming-of-age series about teenage drag stars produced by Bunim/Murray, the production company responsible for hit reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and The Dead Girls Detective Agency, a darkly comedic supernatural show based on a young adult novel.

Shares of Snap have fallen 52 per cent since the beginning of the year after a disastrous redesign saw user numbers shrink. With Instagram introducing a number of Snapchat-style features, competition between the two platforms has grown increasingly fraught. A recently-leaked memo saw Snap CEO Evan Spiegel admit that the app's redesign was poorly executed and that the firm may need to look beyond its core teenage audience to maintain growth.

Episodes for the shows will be designed for mobile viewing, with viewing times as short as five minutes, and will all include six seconds of unskippable advertising. Each show will have its own profile page in Snapchat's Discover section where viewers can easily find new episodes.

Snap is supporting the shows with native features inside the app. Lenses themed around the different shows will encourage users to share their reactions, while new Show Portal lenses will enable users to walk through an augmented reality doorway to explore scenes and environments from the shows.