Snapchat is getting in on the true crime genre. On Monday, the messaging app turned media company released a new Snapchat-exclusive series called True Crime Uncovered, produced by Conde Nast Entertainment (CNE).
Snapchat’s foray into true crime is likely a result of an increased interest in the genre in recent years, especially among millennials. Netflix created the Emmy-winning series Making A Murderer in 2015, and followed up its inaugural success with The Keepers in 2017. There has also been a proliferation of true crime stories in the podcast space, such as Serial and S-Town, drawing in massive audiences and spurring online debates over what really happened.
According to Variety, CNE created True Crime Uncovered to carve out a chunk of the true crime market by appealing to younger audiences who consume media on Snapchat. But in creating a true crime show specifically for Snapchat’s platform, CNE is casting aside the defining characteristic that made previous series so successful — depth of inquiry. All of the aforementioned true crimes series are exhaustive in their presentation of evidence; they’re slow burners that attempt to unpack complicated, overlooked, or unsolved crimes through a deep dive that unearths new information. By its very nature, true crime requires a significant time commitment.
Each episode of True Crime Uncovered, on the other hand, clocks in at around five minutes long. The first episode tells the story of Warriena Wright, a woman who went on a Tinder date with Gable Tostee in 2014, and died after falling off the balcony of Tostee’s 14th-floor apartment. The episode, which was sponsored by Oxygen, “the new network for crime,” is mostly comprised of sensational narration. It includes lines like, “as the conversation flows, so does the vodka,” and a chilling audio recording from Tostee’s phone on the night of Wright’s death.
True crime has been so popular over the last few years that it even spawned a Netflix parody series, American Vandal, about a high schooler who is framed (or is he?) for spray-painting dicks on cars.
True Crime Uncovered isn’t a true crime show — it’s a crime commercial.