HarperCollins has partnered with Snap to launch the first story of its kind— a Snapchat mobile adaptation of a teen mystery novel. Suzie Cox‘s The Dead Girls Detective Agency, a popular YA mystery from 2012, has taken its place at the frontier of digital storytelling.
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On October 10, 2018, Snap launched its new Snap Originals: five-minute episodes of original shows with new episodes premiering daily. At the moment, there are twelve shows available through the Discover feature. All episodes are vertically shot, meaning they’re perfectly adapted for mobile viewing. The content ranges in subject matter, with many documentary style shorts across every genre from horror to romantic comedy. One follows the exploits of Bhad Bhabie (A.K.A. the ‘cash me outside’ girl); another follows the rise of teen queens (that’s drag AND drama queens).
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This adaptation is just one of a few ways that technology continues to push storytelling further into multimedia territory. A much earlier example is the publication of Lauren Myracle‘s inventive The Internet Girls books (ttyl; ttfn; and l8r, g8r), a series Myracle crafted entirely from instant messages. Other YA novels have since followed suit, incorporating social media elements like chats, blog posts, and online profiles into the structure of the story. Books have taken inspiration from social media for well over a decade; now, social media is taking inspiration from books. The HarperCollins Snapchat partnership further demonstrates the way in which the symbiotic push and pull between books and technology ultimately shapes both mediums.
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