LA Content Creators Share Their Experience With Snap's 523 Accelerator

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

​Snapchat logo and girl in background
Andria Moore

Snap’s 523 accelerator is a 12-month program that aims to support and elevate content creators from underrepresented groups. But is it worth it?

According to Paula Hughes, head of digital at TOGETHXR, a Los Angeles-based lifestyle, culture, sports media and commerce company, what really makes 523 shine is that the program is also providing creators with resources. “Whether that's workshops or they're giving you production means and giving you actual tangible ways to make this content happen,” Hughes tells dot.LA.

The 523 accelerator program offers each participant $10,000 every month to support the creators’ investment in conception and filming content for Discover, Snap’s curated content platform.

“Snap was kind of putting their money where their mouth was,” Hughes says. “The fact that they were excited about reaching out to these diverse groups was something that we definitely wanted to be a part of.”

Snap’s first cohort launched in March 2021. The cohort consists of 18 creators or content companies and a majority are based in Los Angeles including Mia Finney, Merci Productions, DT Entertainment, Qewly Productions and Swish Cultures. Currently, Snap is in the process of selecting participants for its second cohort and will be announced early next year.

Hughes believes that Snap’s 523 year long program is what distinguishes it from other accelerator programs since it allows creators to conceptualize an idea or piece of content and see it come to life. Other Los Angeles-based accelerator programs including Techstars LA,Grid110 and PledgeLA typically last three months.

But if the content does not take off, Hughes says Snap will sit you down to review the analytics behind the short form videos each participant is creating.

She adds that, “they really helped facilitate within the program itself, but also externally and making sure we were heard and seen and felt throughout the whole entire platform.”

Other participants of the first cohort Oliver Moy and Sebastian Moy of North Star Boys, a Los Angeles-based content and boy band, agree that Snap has been generous with allocating its resources to underrepresented groups.

“We learned a lot about how the syndicated shows work,” Sebastian Moy says. “And learned about the fundamentals of how the show breakdown works and how we can transform our long form content into short form or mid form content.”

The only requirement each participant had was to create and upload bi-weekly episodes which Snap refers to as syndicated shows that last 3-5 minutes in length. Most of these shows are fast paced and created specifically for mobile and optimized for Snap. Unlike traditional videos on YouTube where creators have an unlimited amount of time to chat, the shows that North Star Boys and other participants create are short and to the point.

Prior to joining the program, the brothers would upload their 20 to 30 minute videos to their YouTube channel on a weekly basis— a format that took much more time to produce and edit. But creating short form content allows the North Star Boys to break up those longer videos into mini episodes which helps them push out more content. In turn, with the consistency of their uploads, the Moy’s continue to see an increase in their viewership because their Snap subscribers consume the content more frequently and only a few minutes at a time.

As such, since joining Snap’s platform, the Moys’ have amassed over 178,000 subscribers. “It's nice to have people say we need to tell these stories,” says Hughes. “But it's another thing for people to be like, here are the resources to do it, here's the support to do it and here's the platform to do it.”

Snap is an investor in dot.LA.

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