In a big fightback for market share, Snapchat has launched “Snap Originals” – unique content that includes drama, horror, mystery and comedy, designed specifically for the Snapchat platform.

Snapchat has invested in original content for more than a year, but the launch of Snap Originals is its most ambitious content project by far, being the first time scripted shows have been included in the Snapchat app and the app being redesigned to accommodate them.

Each show will get its own page with graphics and an episode list, a model used by other streaming services, most notably Netflix, and which is designed to allow binge-watching, Mashable noted.

As well as scripted series, there will be unscripted “docuseries” – documentaries in series form – and all are aimed at the younger viewers, who are the social media platform’s core user base.

There are between eight and 12 episodes in a series, with each episode around five minutes long, and containing ads of no more than six seconds that viewers can’t skip. The videos are cut vertically to be watched on phones and are “hyper visual” and “fast-paced”, according to Nick Bell, Snap’s VP of Content.

He told CNN Business that Snap Originals were aimed at the current audience, but also at attracting new users. And in a bid to catch attention, the content also incorporates augmented reality into some of its content, he added.

Users can, for example, swipe up from an episode of a show and interact with the objects and characters via Snap’s AR lenses.

“[You] can go on to the beach with [social media star] Summer McKeen, look around where she lives, see what it’s like. Or with our scripted series, you’ll be able to go around the crime scene to look for clues for yourself,” Bell said.

The new programming – which will be promoted in the Discover section of the Snapchat app – includes “Co-Ed”, which follows roommates at university as they begin college life, and “Growing Up is a Drag”, a coming-of-age drama about teenage drag queens.

Sourced from Snap, Mashable, CNN; additional content by WARC staff