Snap is preparing to launch a Bitmoji TV series, which users can personalize using their own animated Bitmoji characters.
Expected to live within Snapchat’s Discover section, the new series is expected to debut in February 2020. How frequently Snap plans to release episodes -- and how it plans to monetize Bitmoji TV -- is unknown.
This isn’t Snap’s first attempt to turn Bitmoji into something more than digital stickers and games.
For example, Snap has already had success with Bitmoji Stories -- a cartoon starring users and their friends. In December 2018, the unique content offering reached more than 40 million viewers.
Pure-play digital platforms like Snapchat and Facebook are pumping out original content, research suggests. Thanks, in part, to such efforts, Snapchat is growing faster than some researchers expected.
By the end of the year, eMarketer expects the app to boast about 293 million users worldwide. If accurate, that would represent about 14% growth, year-over-year, which is more than the research firm was previously expecting.
By 2023, eMarketer forecasts Snapchat to add more than 63 million users, worldwide -- up from the 53 million users that it had previously predicted.
Last year, Snapchat’s popularity was hit by an unsuccessful redesign -- and nowhere harder than in the U.S. Representing the app’s largest market, 27.4% of its users reside there.
By the end of the year, eMarketer expects domestic growth to return to positive territory -- increasing 5.9%, and pushing its U.S. user base past 80 million for the first time.
The biggest turnaround is expected to come from users ages 12 to 17, 1.1 million of whom left the platform last year, by eMarketer’s calculation.
On the less-positive side, Snapchat continues to face serious competition from Instagram, which is expected to grow its domestic user base 6.7% to 107.2 million this year. Worldwide, Instagram will grow 11.6% to 788.43 million users, eMarketer expects. “Snapchat has regained momentum, but Instagram never lost it,” according to Williamson.
In terms of ad dollars, Instagram remains far larger than Snapchat.
Instagram's global net revenues will reach $15.01 billion this year, which will represent a 4.6% share of digital ad market, per eMarketer.
By contrast, Snapchat will generate $1.53 billion in net ad revenues, which will represent just 0.5% of worldwide digital ad market.