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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Snapchat is planning to launch a new slate of Originals — short, made-for-mobile shows — that appear in the Discover section of the Snapchat app, according to sources familiar with the company's plans. The shows will debut at Snap's invite-only Partner Summit on April 4.

Why it matters: Snapchat saw positive results from its first round of Originals, so it's investing more in its own scripted video for mobile.

Be smart: Scripted programming specifically for mobile is hard because it requires studios, actors and production teams to shoot and create video to be viewed vertically, rather than the traditional horizontal orientation of television screens.

  • Facebook has poured a lot of money into shows for Facebook Watch, but most of that content is still displayed and consumed horizontally, taking up less than half of the mobile screen.

The big picture: Snap is hosting a day-long, invite-only Partner Summit on April 4 in Los Angeles. After two years of rocky headlines following its March 2017 IPO, Snap heads into the Summit with some positive press behind it.

  • Snap stock jumped 12% last week on rare upgrades from Jefferies and BTIG's Rich Greenfield — mostly due to stabilized ad growth — and has seen its stock roughly double since its lowest point in December.
  • While Facebook struggles with privacy lawsuits and PR nightmares, Evan Spiegel looks prescient for his focus on ephemerality and private communication since the start of Snapchat.
  • The company has received positive press for its new chief business officer, Amazon advertising sales vet Jeremi Gorman, who told Adweek last week that she plans to overhaul Snapchat's ad business.

Don't forget: Snapchat recently lost its content chief Nick Bell, who departed to join startup incubator Human Ventures. The content production team is now led by Sean Mills.

What's next? Snap also plans to unveil a gaming platform, according to a Cheddar report on Friday. Tencent, one of China's biggest gaming companies, purchased a 10% stake in the company in 2017, which sources say have helped guide Snapchat's foray into gaming.

Our thought bubble: Snapchat is using its moments out of the spotlight to focus on creation and product development, which are arguably its greatest strengths.

Go deeper

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Education: More schools are reopening in the U.S.
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  6. World: Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines.
Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines

Several countries in the Americas have received their first vaccine shipments over the past few weeks — not from the regional superpower or from Western pharmaceutical giants, but from China, Russia, and in some cases India.

Why it matters: North and South America have been battered by the pandemic and recorded several of the world’s highest death tolls. Few countries other than the U.S. have the capacity to manufacture vaccines at scale, and most lack the resources to buy their way to the front of the line for imports. That’s led to a scramble for whatever supply is available.

More schools are reopening in the U.S.

Students settle into a classroom in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

More than 72% of K-12 students are now attending schools that offer in-person or hybrid models of learning.

The big picture: The U.S. is seeing an almost-universal return of schools that were in-person as of November, as well as a gradual return in parts of the country that had been virtual for almost a year.