Snapchat (Snap Inc.) is set to invest in a South African startup called Hashtag Our Stories as part of its startup accelerator called Yellow that offers $150,000 (over R200 000) in funding.
According to Yellow, nine companies were chosen to take up a three-month residency in one of Snap’s buildings in Venice, California near Los Angeles. Here they will receive the tools needed to grow a business from the ground up, including funding, mentorship, introductions to industry veterans, as well as the opportunity for distribution on Snapchat.
What is Hashtag Our Stories?
Hashtag Our Stories (founded in Durban) is an international mobile journalism (MOJO) network, publishing vertical video stories on social media…”created by citizens, curated by journalists”.
According to their official website, Hashtag Our Stories is “a social-first, video publisher, focused on stories about local solutions to global problems. Traditional news media lacks diversity, has a bias for negativity and is missing the big trends”.
So they found a new way of telling stories…with the help of mobile phones:
“Since September 2017, we’ve empowered 200 citizen storytellers in over 40 countries to produce videos with their phones. We focus on constructive, solutions-based stories and provide more diverse news coverage. Because more cameras and more perspectives means more truth.”
Hashtag Our Stories is run by former social media reporter at CNN, Yusuf Omar and his wife Sumaiya.
In the video posted below, Omar says we can’t keep relying on big broadcast cameras, new media or newspapers.
“We need to take responsibility for it. We need to start communicating these goals…they’re our goals.
“The mobile phone is really the most powerful device you’ll ever own. It’s our atomic agent of change. I’m a MOJO – a mobile journalist….and I like to think that we all are. We can use our mobile phones to amplify our voices, to spread stories.”
Source: The South Africa