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Snapchat bringing bite-sized version of BBC’s ‘Planet Earth II’ to mobile

Why it matters to you

Snapchat will offer users another way to engage with the acclaimed series. Meanwhile, the move signals the future for the platform's video content.

Add BBC’s Planet Earth II to the list of programs heading to a second life on Snapchat. On Monday, Snap, the company behind the social network that now also serves as a short-form video platform announced it will unveil six mini-episodes of the acclaimed nature documentary series beginning February 17 — one day before the actual show is broadcast on BBC America.

These episodes will differ from the long-form Planet Earth II in a number of ways. First, they’re exclusive to Snapchat users in North America. Second, they’ll run about 4 to 6 minutes apiece, according to The Verge, and they have been formatted for a portrait-style viewing experience. The footage used will be completely unique to Snapchat, rather than a retread of what viewers will see on television. Finally, actress Sophie Okonedo will take over narration duties for Sir David Attenborough.

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While the Snapchat edition won’t benefit from 4K resolution, it does have one added perk — 3D audio. Snap said these sequences were recorded using dual microphones, which will lend a more immersive audio experience to the documentary.

The addition of the upcoming BBC series also introduces changes to the app’s Snapcode system, the QR-like codes that can link to users and, most recently, websites. Those interested in Planet Earth II ahead of its release can follow a Snapcode to subscribe to the upcoming series, view a preview video, or catch previous installments when the show goes live.

Snapcodes have become a powerful, convenient, and useful tool for navigating Snapchat, and they’ll become even more important as the platform continues to expand the types of content available to its community.

Planet Earth II follows in the footsteps of shows like Watch Party: The Bachelor, which launched on Snapchat last month as the first product of a partnership with Disney-ABC Television Group. The platform is going all-in on bespoke video content after inking deals with Turner and NBC to bring programming like The Voice and last year’s Rio Summer Olympics to a mobile audience.

It’s been a busy week for Snap. Late last week, the company’s initial public offering was made available to the public, revealing some fascinating clues as to what’s next for the social network. The app itself also saw a major update, introducing a new universal search feature designed to make it much easier to navigate.