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Hooked released its first feature-length story to keep its ‘chat fiction’ readers interested

Hooked, a startup that produces written stories in the form of text message threads, released its first feature-length story, “Dark Matter.” The story, which premiered on Snapchat, is ‘chat fiction’ -- a storytelling format thats seeks to ‘redefine entertainment’ for...


October 29, 2018

Hooked, a startup that produces written stories in the form of text message threads, released its first feature-length story, “Dark Matter.”

The story, which premiered on Snapchat, is ‘chat fiction’ — a storytelling format thats seeks to ‘redefine entertainment’ for the social media generation.

How does ‘chat fiction’ work?

“We love reading, just like you, but we know it can get BORING when stories are too long,” Hooked’s app-store description reads.

Chat fiction is designed for readers too strung out on social media to read full pages of text. Each “story is told as a bite-sized text message conversation, as if you were reading someone else’s chat history.” 

Hooked has raised more than $6m since it was founded in 2014, and it boasts a Tweetable cast of celebrity backers including Snoop Dogg, Ashton Kutcher, Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx, and LeBron James.

An uphill battle to keep distracted readers Hooked

“Dark Matter,” Hooked’s longest story to date, is being released in 5 daily installments, with the story’s final chapter arriving tomorrow. Hooked and Snapchat will share the story’s ad revenue.

Hooked claims its 1k stories have been read by 100m+ unique users across the Hooked app and Snapchat, and the company has inspired chat fiction competitors such as Yarn and Tap.

But despite its past successes, Hooked’s popularity (like Snapchat’s) is far from certain: After peaking as the number 2 most popular free app last year, the Hooked app has fallen out of the top 200. 

Now, the same short attention spans that inspired Hooked in the first place could lead to its downfall…

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