Phone Swap, the popular in-app dating show which premiered on Snapchat is to transition to TV after Fox Television snapped up the rights to the format, the first time a show has jumped between platforms in this way, by commissioning 15 episodes for this summer.
The reality show sees strangers trade phones to see what they discover about one another before deciding to go on a date.
Conceived by LA start-up Vertical Networks the novel concept has drawn an average of 10m viewers per episode on Snapchat, bringing it to the attention of Fox executives.
Stephen Brown, executive vice-president of development for Fox Television Stations explained: “It is a profound social experiment that speaks to the need to find love, to what we hold close to us and this phone being the repository of everything in our lives.”
Vertical chief executive Tom Wright added: “We built a model that is all about insights and data, then refining the content around that. If you’re not a platform [like Snapchat or Facebook], it’s incredibly hard to have a media company. Where you can win is specialization.”
Vertical Networks differentiates itself from more established broadcasters by experimenting with its own lifestyle brand Brother on Snapchat Discover, switching up everything from camera angles, topics, pacing and even colour schemes to gauge how small changes can affect viewer engagement.