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.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests
  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

3 hours ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China