Instagram is hoping users will follow its first attempt at creating an original series for its platform. Shield 5 is a 28-part thriller that will be broadcast daily during the month of February on its very own Instagram page.
Set in present-day London, the show follows a security driver who must evade the police following a diamond heist and the resultant death of a colleague.
The first episode of the show (see below) has already been posted on the Shield 5 Instagram page. The clip clocks in at a fleeting 15 seconds and depicts the show’s protagonist, John Swift, nursing a bloody wound as he stumbles down a London street.
Shortly after posting the first episode, an image of a wanted poster for John Swift was also added to the page, indicating the multimedia approach the show will take in order to add context to the proceedings.
The show will continue with this format, broadcasting a 15 second episode followed by a related image each day, reports Deadline.
Shield 5 was created by director Anthony Wilcox and writer Adam Dewar. Wilcox previously worked as an assistant director on Hot Fuzz, Layer Cake, and Pearl Harbor. Dewar is an editor at UK newspaper the Guardian.
Instagram’s launch of an original series sees it take a different approach to original content than its competitors. Rival visual media app Snapchat, for example, has pursued a curated content strategy that sees it collate sponsored videos with user-created video clips and original text snippets in its Live Story format.
Shield 5 currently has just over 5,000 followers and its first episode received 581 likes, well short of the numbers accumulated by the app’s biggest users. Instagram will no doubt be relying on positive word-of-mouth from its 400 million-strong user base to help make it a success. If it does manage to find an audience, it could result in more original content making its way on to the platform.