Snapchat has hired Sean Mills to be its Head of Original content based in New York City, Business Insider has learned. This is Mills’ first week on the job.
The company confirmed the hire to Business Insider.
Prior to joining Snapchat, Mills was president of video startup NowThis where he grew the company’s views from 150,000 to more than 60 million per month. He also was CEO of Nerve.com and president of The Onion for eight years where he grew its readership to nearly 10 million people.
Under Mills, Snapchat will grow its original video content division and build up the company’s New York presence. A source familiar with Mills’ new job says Peter Hambly, who was hired from CNN to head up Snapchat’s news division in April, won’t be reporting to Mills. But they will both be based in Snapchat’s New York office near Times Square. Snapchat will also be growing its sales team in the New York City office.
Snapchat currently dabbles in original content with a reality series “Literally Can’t Even” and Snapchat-written articles in its Discover section. The app’s most popular video feature is Stories, which strings together a series of snaps from one location submitted by millions of users there.
Stories are now viewed much more often than Snapchat’s flagship messaging product, snaps. Some of the most popular stories have generated tens of millions of unique views over the course of 48 hours.
It’s easy to imagine Mills extending the company’s original video initiatives beyond news and reality clips to new categories, such as comedy and sports.