Have we come full circle? Maybe, because live-TV is becoming the trend. Well, it is now that television companies are bringing programming to social networks. Snapchat is the latest platform to announce that they’re bringing content from traditional TV to their feed. The shows will take the form of short-form supplemental episodes to direct Snapchat users to the shows on their networks. Snap has announced that Turner, A&E, ABC, the NFL, Vice Media, Discovery, and Fox are already signed on to produce this original content. Many of these companies are larger networks that can promote content from a large group of TV channels.
Apparently Snap isn’t interested in advertising disguised as a show. They are after “true original content.” While the hope of the networks is to move users from their short-form shows on Snapchat’s stories to their programming on Television or their streaming services, Snap is hoping to provide more income from these companies. Especially since their first report after taking the company public showed some major losses. (They say most of the losses were due to paying shareholders after going public.) There is already data to support that social media content by TV networks improves their viewership:
Nielson reports that media companies that publish Snapchat content see “notable audience growth” on TV and other platforms, and that the app delivered a 16-percent boost to the average monthly reach. – Digital Trends
This means they shouldn’t have any trouble filling the Snapchat stories and discovery section with more of these shows. These short episodes will have ads that play before, during, or after. That’s where the income for Snapchat will come from.
What Parents Should Know
I think there are two things parents need to take into account as our social media becomes more inundated with traditional media and advertising. First of all, some parents are concerned with overexposure to media and entertainment. Setting restrictions on what content your child can see is getting harder and harder to do. Adding this content to their social media apps just makes it even more difficult. Moms and dads need to keep an eye on what shows and ads are showing up in these apps and take action if they see something that they’re not comfortable with.
The second issue is time. Many of us are learning how important it is to watch the amount of time our kids are spending online or consuming TV, games, and movies. With Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, and now Snapchat moving towards more original TV style content we are seeing social media become more about the entertainment and less about communication and sharing with friends. It’s important for parents to understand that social media platforms now count as entertainment. If you have a time restriction set on Netflix, Youtube, or Hulu, you should have it on Snapchat and Instagram too. That’s just where we are now. Social Media isn’t a trend. It’s basically the state of the internet in this culture. We have to treat it as such.