I’m not sure exactly what my father thinks of Snapchat, but I do know he treats it with a lofty kind of suspicion. The words “moronic” and “inane” have been thrown about, certainly. And whilst he’s the proud owner of a “deliciously sleek” iPhone 4, attempt to lure him into the world of social media and he turns positively cantankerous.
This latest move from Snapchat, however, might just ensnare him. The company has paired with the BBC to bring smartphone audiences six exclusive episodes of the much-revered Planet Earth II, set to debut on 17 February. Similar ground will be covered as the full BBC series, quite literally – from Mountains to Islands, Grasslands to Cities, and Jungles to Deserts. The content itself will be wholly exclusive, using footage not aired on TV. The episodes will be released weekly to users, and are set to last about four to six minutes, accompanying content from the likes of Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, and The Daily Mail.
For purist fans, the mini-series may disappoint; godfather of the nature series Sir David Attenborough will not be presenting, with actress Sophie Okonedo taking the baton. Meanwhile, the videos won’t be available in 4K, although Snapchat have tantalisingly disclosed that they will feature binaural, 3D audio.
Nonetheless, it’s an enterprising move from Snapchat, one that could even entice members of the older generation to its quick fire charms (photos and text sent over the app ‘expire’ after a maximum of ten seconds). Snapchat’s parent company is LA-based Snap, which last week filed for an IPO, reporting revenue of $US58.7 million in 2015, which swelled significantly to $US404.5 million in 2016. Despite this, it also suffered losses, including one of $US514.6 million in 2016. The growth of its user base has also slowed considerably.
This latest venture could a be step in the right direction to broaden Snapchat’s appeal and regenerate the growth of its user base. So for those not sufficiently enthused by the animalistic marvel that is Snapchat’s Dalmatian filter, you can always immerse yourself in the altogether more enriching world of Planet Earth II.