The latest Snapchat Discover channel promises to get inside your head using Japanese psychology

The latest Snapchat Discover channel promises to get inside your head using Japanese psychology


Vertical Networks/Mindsy

  • Elisabeth Murdoch's media startup Vertical Networks is launching a second Snapchat Discover channel.
  • The company is rolling out "Mindsy," a bi-weekly publisher story on Snapchat based on a Japanese study of psychology and self-discovery called Kokology.
  • Vertical Networks has already tested this type of content a dozen times on Brother, its two-year old young-male-targeted channel.

Following the success of its maiden millennial male-focused channel Brother, Elisabeth Murdoch's media startup Vertical Networks is rolling out a second Snapchat Discover franchise.

But this one's just a mind game.

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The California-based mobile content studio is unveiling "Mindsy," a bi-weekly channel on Snapchat's content hub based on a Japanese study of psychology and self-discovery called Kokology.

Unlike many Snapchat Discover channels - which typically feature a mix of video, animation and magazine-like images - Mindsy will essentially be an interactive mobile game. Specifically, Mindsy will present people with abstract choices and situations and then interpret their personality traits based on their responses.


"It's like merging psychology with horoscopes to reveal secrets about people's personalities that they may not have known about," Tom Wright, the CEO of Vertical Networks, told Business Insider. "We're making a game out of it, except that there's actually some math behind the results you get."

Participants can, for instance, be asked to visualize a cube in a desert with a ladder around it. Based on their responses, and how they envision the size and position of the two objects, Mindsy can interpret whether they're introverted or extroverted or whether they prefer a close-knit or a large group of friends.

Trying to crack mobile first content - and bring it everywhere

Vertical Networks was launched by the Murdoch family scion in late 2015, and aims to build premium, global mobile content for millennials and Gen Z that can be scaled across geographies and platforms. "We design original (intellectual property) that we think can travel - to books, TV, whatever it may be," said Wright.

Its first product was the guy-oriented Discover channel Brother, which has averaged at more than 6.5 million daily unique viewers and reached more than 75 million unique viewers in the first quarter of 2018, according to the company.

It has also produced a number of short-form shows for Snap, including "Ghost Hunt" and "Phone Swap," arguably the most popular show on Snap.


According to Wright, Vertical Networks has a history of testing out new ideas and formats on Brother, before spinning them off into their own shows or channels. Mindsy was no different.

The company produced roughly a dozen Brother editions with Mindsy-related themes of interactive self-discovery, such as "How Unique Are You" or "What Your Smile Says About You," and looked at their performance, seeing high engagement around them.

That prompted Vertical to experiment with more game mechanics and formats across Brother, such as memory tests, IQ tests and reaction tests. Vertical Networks' "Interactive Studio" team then paired the most successful game formats with Kokology, and Mindsy was born.

The 12-person Mindsy team also dug into Vertical Networks's data from its different properties to help design the new channel.

"This is why we have the success that we have," said Wright. "We track, push and pull our data and insights to refine creative and discretely test and pilot concepts."