Jan 7, 2020

Exclusive: Michelle Obama launches Instagram video series

Photo: ATTN:

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is partnering with the digital media company ATTN: to launch a video series on IGTV, Instagram's video platform.

  • “A Year of Firsts” shows inspiring stories about students navigating their first year through college.

Why it matters: The Obamas have maintained a strong media presence through civic media projects on newer tech platforms.

  • Last June, Michelle and Barack Obama's production company Higher Ground announced it would begin working with Spotify to produce podcasts.
  • In 2018, Higher Ground signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce TV shows and films that spotlight issues such as race, class, democracy and civil rights.

Details: The show will be produced by ATTN:, a media company that focuses on millennial video, in partnership with Reach Higher, an initiative founded by Obama during her time at the White House to inspire and support students to pursue higher education.

  • The first episode of the six-episode series will premiere exclusively on IGTV in mid-January. The last will appear in June.
  • ATTN: is working with the students directly to document their first year as they explore issues like the academic stress of college, making new friends, college affordability, and physical and mental health while in college.
  • “This series will meet many students where they live — on Instagram — and share candid perspectives about how to overcome barriers," says ATTN: co-founder Matthew Segal.

The big picture: This isn't ATTN:'s first video series with a prominent political figure.

  • ATTN: launched an exclusive video series with former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the 2018 midterms called “Here’s the Deal.” At the time, it was the first IGTV series to be hosted by a national U.S. politician.

The bottom line: The hope for Reach Higher is that the series will inspire other first-year college students who may find common ground and community among the first-year students being elevated in the series.

  • "By sharing their stories, they’re helping others see that the ups and downs of the first year of college are something everyone goes through — and they’re creating a supportive community for others facing similar challenges,” Obama said in a statement.

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