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Snapchat working on attracting Black teens

National

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 10/18/2018, 11:02 a.m.
Snapchat announced 12 new “Snap Originals” scripted shows in effort to regain its popularity..
Snapchat

Snapchat announced 12 new “Snap Originals” scripted shows in effort to regain its popularity with the very coveted but fickle Black teen user group, reports Forbes magazine. African American teens are the first-movers in many ways when it comes to deciding what’s going to take off on social media. It’s pretty obvious that teens and their technology are inseparable, with nine out of 10 Black teens using Snapchat, according to a survey by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Episodes of Snapchat’s new shows will try to engage the group and include six-seconds of non-skippable advertising, keeping in line with its current format of shows. In a statement from Snap, the company claims viewership of its existing shows has tripled this year. Competition is steep in this space, as Kori Hale’s CultureBanx reported. For example, Apple has ordered 17 original series, including one about Kevin Durant’s childhood, which is likely to appeal to the Black teen demographic. The social media company plans on putting out new episodes of its shows daily, but they’ll be short, averaging five minutes each, to stay in the sweet spot for mobile viewing. African American teens are more likely than their peers to have access to smartphones, which could explain why they’re the biggest and most frequent users of mobile-friendly social media apps Snapchat and Instagram. “It speaks to the level of embeddedness of the technology in Black youth’s lives and their willingness to move into new platforms more quickly than their counterparts,” Amanda Lenhart, the lead researcher on the survey, told Forbes. Shares of Snap have fallen 52 percent since the beginning of the year as the company struggles to attract new users. It’s lost nearly $250 million and 3 million daily users in the last quarter. Earlier this year, Instagram claimed more than 400 million people used its Stories feature. This amount is nearly twice that of Snapchat's 188 million daily active users that it reported at the end of the second quarter. Snap has made inroads into video advertising but still has a small slice of the overall market. Its nemesis, Facebook, will command 24.5 percent of all video ad spending this year at $6.81 billion including Instagram, according to eMarketer. It’s also estimated that Snapchat’s U.S. video revenue will grow 19 percent to $397.3 million this year.