Snapchat is so much more than a way to send dick pics, with millions of young users enjoying the ephemeral social media platform, and billions of investment dollars betting that this can somehow generate profit. And yesterday, Snapchat announced a partnership with a dozen or so media companies and notified its users of the “Discover” button, which connects Snapchatters with short stories from media outlets that exist for 24 hours on Snapchat before disappearing forever. Now it’s moving into the original content realm: Today, AT&T announced SnapperHero, an upcoming superhero series that will exist primarily on Snapchat. AT&T has selected several people, each with a huge social media presence, to crowdsource ideas for the series—ideas that will include things like superhero powers and origin stories, according to producer Billy Parks.
SnapperHero will launch in early 2015, with 12 episodes contained to four weeks on Snapchat. Like user stories and the new Discover media stories, each episode will make like a ghost and disappear after 24 hours. Snapchat has challenged how we share and consume photos and videos over social media; SnapperHero will pose similar queries about TV viewing in 2015. Namely, what changes when a show isn’t available to stream, download, or view instantly?
It’s a proposition that upholds the ethos of Snapchat, which allows users to share content from their lives without the sense of immortality that occurs on other social media platforms. Part of Snapchat’s success is finding the valuable in the ephemeral, with users gaining more meaningful digital interactions with friends when the interaction is finished in 10 seconds or less. Maybe the same will hold true for another TV show about superheroes.