Then there are the spiders. Three-quarters of the views of the Dodo’s “daily edition”—an offering from Snapchat publisher partners that appear daily in the app’s Discover section—come from users under the age of 25. That audience prefers faster-paced, shocking content with dynamic visuals and exotic animals, the Dodo has found. “The Snapchat audience loves snakes, spiders, not classically cuddly animals, which has been so interesting for us because, we’re kind of a heartwarming brand first and foremost,” says Lerer. “But the Snap audience has a really big appetite for all kinds of species, which has been super fun to experiment with.”

YouTube has posed different challenges for the Dodo. It’s a hub for vloggers and influencers, but most of the Dodo’s protagonists are animals. The company is leaning into that now with personality-driven and human-focused series, such as The Dodo Soulmates, which spotlights human-and-animal best friends. It’s also experimenting with turning animals into online personalities.

“YouTube for a while was a bit of a dumping ground for the content we made,” says YuJung Kim, president of the Dodo, who joined the company after leading digital media for the NBA in 2015. “Then we decided to invest in it by bringing on a platform manager [and] really digging into the data to see what works. Basically, it was like turning on a switch.”

The Dodo’s YouTube channel currently has about 3.4 million subscribers—which it says represents triple-digit growth over the past two years. The popular publisher WorldstarHipHop has 19 million, for comparison.

This summer, the Dodo is launching a new YouTube channel with more kid-friendly content. It is reformatting existing videos with fun graphics, sounds, and voiceovers to appeal to children. It’s starting with the cute, cuddly animals—not the spiders—though the Dodo hasn’t ruled arachnids out if that’s what the kids are into. It already has ins with millennial parents who watch its other content, Lerer and Kim say, and the company hopes to build on that. There’s also demand among advertisers for child-safe YouTube content, which the media brand wants to tap into.

Yet, even with each platform’s nuances, the Dodo says there are the rare stories that succeed across social channels. One of those “grand slams,” as the company calls them, was a video of a tiny kitten who was rescued from the trash. There are just some stories you can’t help but be moved by.

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