As far as relationship intrigue goes, social media stars are hitting their peak. Through their all-access, no-holds-barred willingness to expose their lives to fans in the name of #content and their clever reinvention of the celebrity breakup, YouTubers, Instagrammers, and Snapchatters are successfully turning their accounts into the new reality shows. Step aside, bachelors and bachelorettes.
Snapchat has clearly caught on to the money-making opportunity here. It first entered the streaming world in 2017, when it inked major deals with networks including Turner, A+E, and Scripps. Today, Snap announced it will expand its original, in-app programming to include a brand new show category: Docu Series. The first show in this new division, Endless Summer — not to be mistaken with The Endless Summer, the famous 1966 surfing documentary — sounds like a refresh of MTV's Laguna Beach made for the social media era.
Endless Summer will follow Summer Mckeen and Dylan Jordan, who are both 19, verified on Instagram, and come with a combined following of over 1.7 million people — and that's just on Instagram. On YouTube, where Mckeen vlogs about fashion ("HUGE Try-on Brandy Melville Haul"), beauty ("My Natural Summer Makeup Routine"), and teenage things ("Talking About My Insecurities & Waiting Till Marriage — Q&A aaahhh"), she has over 1.4 million subscribers. On his channel, Jordan has over 80,000 subscribers, and primarily documents his relationship with Mckeen and embarks on daring challenges like talking to her ex-boyfriend.
It's unclear whether they'll continue to document their relationship on YouTube, though, since that is the premise of their new Snapchat show. In Endless Summer the couple will show viewers their life in Laguna Beach (are you feeling the MTV vibes, yet?) and bring a cast of other influencer friends, including Olivia Rouyre and McKenzie Luskey, along for the ride. The potential for SponCon is limitless.
What will set Snapchat's take on the reality show apart from its ABC, E!, and MTV predecessors is the basic format: Each show will keep with the app's standard original programming length, lasting just three to five minutes. In addition to watching the influencers, viewers will be able to interact with them outside of the episodes, through After Shows and Watch Parties. Exclusive Snapchat lenses and AR tools, similar to the ones used for the app's world lenses, will let you use the Snapchat camera to put yourself "in" the show, although it's not clear what these will look like. Think of this way: Instead of just watching the rose ceremony, you could take part in it.