Posts Tagged ‘moments’


A Moment for journalism

Twitter's roll-out of Moments to everyone provides significant opportunities for journalists and news organizations to engage with their audience. (Photo: Pixabay)

Twitter’s roll-out of Moments to everyone provides significant opportunities for journalists and news organizations to engage with their audience. (Photo: Pixabay)

It was announced last week that Twitter plans to roll out Moments, its program that features content from news organizations and others, to everyone. Introduced last October, it was designed to help engage users on the social network and to attract new users, something that chief executive Jack Dorsey has been trying to do since he took over as CEO from Dick Costolo last year.

Though Twitter says it will be made available to all within the next few months, the Nieman Lab at Harvard University notes the Moments that had been started by Allure Magazine, one of the brands selected by the Twitter media team. Indeed, with this news, there is the potential for news organizations to use Moments, whether its breaking stories or providing a wrap up on a comprehensive story, like the forthcoming presidential election.

The opportunity for this roll-out of Moments allows news organizations to further engage with audiences on Twitter, in addition to disseminating news and curating conversations surrounding a topic. Indeed, the Moments used by news organizations can allow Twitter to be a platform for users to get a quick digest of the news of the day, if they don’t have time to either watch a broadcast live or visit various news sites and read.

In addition, such a digest can also be a complement to live tweeting of any story in progress, giving reason for a user to stay on Twitter to see the world unfold through the signature 140 character statuses.

Yet, most of all, Moments can provide a new way to tell stories — to chronicle the events of the world and to present them in new ways. It allows for events like elections or other events, irrespective of beat, to be written in new ways, and to be made available to the public as a miniature resource, linking back to content within their organization.

Twitter’s decision to introduce Moments to everyone is a welcome for journalism on the platform, and will bring significant benefit to the engagement strategies of news organizations. It allows more focus for Twitter to be a platform for news, and for news organizations to push their offerings on the social network, as more and more users will spend time on the platform.

It also allows news organizations to encourage users to look at their other platforms, be it web or otherwise. Whether they will come is at their discretion, as this introduction may see Twitter as a competitor to other news sites for attention, whether its a local outlet or The New York Times, as more content is being produced.

Nevertheless, this ultimately gives journalists an opportunity to ponder the craft of storytelling, and to innovate for audiences. Whether it can be successful though will be found out…in a matter of mere Moments.

Alex Veeneman, a Chicago based SPJ member and founder of SPJ Digital, is SPJ’s Community Coordinator and is a contributor to the SPJ blog network. 

Outside of SPJ, Veeneman is a Managing Editor and contributing writer for Kettle Magazine, an online publication in the UK. You can interact with Veeneman on Twitter here.

The views expressed in this blog post unless otherwise specified are that of the author’s, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SPJ Digital community, the board and staff of the Society of Professional Journalists, or its members.

Facebook’s business is journalism’s business

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The social network will roll out Instant Articles to all publishers April 12. (Photo: b_d_solis/Flickr under CC)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The social network will roll out its Instant Articles program to all publishers April 12. (Photo: b_d_solis/Flickr under CC)

Next Tuesday (April 12th), at Facebook’s F8 conference in San Francisco, the social network is to open up Instant Articles to every single publisher in the world.

Instant Articles, which was launched last May, started a revolution into Facebook’s relationship with journalism, and how users consume journalism on social media. Publishers including the BBC, The New York Times, BuzzFeed, The Guardian and MTV have been utilizing Instant Articles, which hosts content produced by those organizations on Facebook.

In a blog post from earlier this year, Josh Roberts, a Product Manager for Facebook, said opening up Instant Articles would allow users to be connected to content and subjects they cared about.

“Facebook’s goal is to connect people to the stories, posts, videos or photos that matter most to them,” Roberts said. “Opening up Instant Articles will allow any publisher to tell great stories, that load quickly, to people all over the world. With Instant Articles, they can do this while retaining control over the experience, their ads and their data.”

As the social network prepares to open Instant Articles up to the world’s publishers, it comes at an interesting time for the relationship between social media and journalism, where content has become the strategic core of engaging new audiences to platforms. This is particularly the case for not just Facebook, but also Twitter and Snapchat.

Twitter introduced Moments late last year as CEO Jack Dorsey tries to increase the amount of users, while Snapchat has been trying to make its Discover feature more accessible to users, with potential changes coming as early as next month. This also comes as the satirical news site The Onion becomes the latest publisher to join Discover.

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. Snapchat has been one of the platforms competing for audiences through its Discover feature. (Photo: Techcrunch/Flickr under CC)

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. Snapchat has been one of the platforms competing for audiences through its Discover feature. (Photo: Techcrunch/Flickr under CC)

Separately, Facebook introduced late last year to iPhone users a notifications app called Notify, with content from organizations including CNN and The Weather Channel.

However, this relationship has been beneficial to publishers and news organizations, who have been presented the opportunity to engage with new audiences alongside retaining current ones. At the same time, it has raised questions on the quintessential social strategy to have the most impact and potential for audience engagement.

As Facebook and other platforms continue to try to increase their audiences and change user experience, journalism has become part of the equation of the future of social media. The business of social media has now become a fundamental component of the business of journalism, and both businesses have one thing in common — they are constantly evolving.

One thing however is for certain in this ever changing, yet mutually beneficial relationship. It has established that there is always going to be a need for journalism and those who work in it. The platforms may change, but there is always going to be a need for people to analyze and make sense of the day’s events, irrespective of beat.

Social media is going to evolve, but journalism will be the one that comes out on top, a big win for the industry that, like social media, is trying to answer the big question: “What is next?”

Alex Veeneman, a Chicago based SPJ member and founder of SPJ Digital, is SPJ’s Community Coordinator and is a contributing blogger to Net Worked on social media’s role in the future of journalism. 

Outside of SPJ, Veeneman is Long Form Editor and a contributing writer for Kettle Magazine, an online publication in the UK. You can interact with Veeneman on Twitter here.

The views expressed in this blog post unless otherwise specified are that of the author’s, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SPJ Digital community, the board and staff of the Society of Professional Journalists, or its members.

What Project Lightning means for journalism

Twitter today unveiled the item that has been known for months simply as Project Lightning.

Moments was introduced on desktop, Android and iPhone versions in the US. These include pieces from news organizations including BuzzFeed and the Washington Post.

For example, BuzzFeed today did a Moment about McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Menu, while the Post did a Moment on the migrant crisis across Europe. These posts are available to be embedded into any piece.

Twitter also said it plans to publicly debut Moments during the baseball Wild Card game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees.

Moments is one of the items that journalists and news organizations have been anticipating since rumors surfaced on it earlier this year. In a telephone interview, Jennifer Wilson, the social media editor of the Toronto Star newspaper in Canada, said Moments plays well on what Twitter excels at — visual features.

“Visual items will usually outperform text,” Wilson said, adding that there are examples of that being taken to create a collection. The ability to embed posts is an added bonus when looking for video, Wilson adds, as it saves the issue of sourcing.

Moments also has the opportunity to solve the issue that new CEO Jack Dorsey and executives have been trying to resolve — the issue of lack of user growth. In a telephone interview,  Aly Keves, the real-time social editor at the Daily Dot web site in New York, says its good that Twitter is utilizing resources for this and is a step forward for re-engagement.

“This will be a great way for people to rediscover Twitter,” Keves said. “It will help users figure out who to follow and what accounts they should be looking at. It can bridge the gap. The new Moments feature will allow the Twitter community to be more engaged with media communities and vice versa.”

Keves adds that Moments can help paint a bigger picture on why an event is trending, providing a better sense of what is going on real-time. For news organizations, Keves says this is exciting for them because they’ll be able to see not just their own content, but what is trending and how competitors are approaching the subject, which could help shape coverage.

“I can get a better sense of what is happening, why its happening, and what the audience is,” Keves said. “It will help me figure out where our audience is, what they’re talking about or anxious about, and what’s happening out there.”

While its only available in full form in the US, moment URLs are accessible globally, and Twitter says that it is looking to get the full feature rolled out to other countries in the weeks and months ahead.

Ultimately, Wilson says, Moments is another unique way to tell stories and another opportunity to engage and retain audiences. She adds that a next step for Twitter could be a way to engage with live broadcasts, something that can help media organizations.

“Everyone is looking for new tools to tell better stories,” Wilson said. “Its neat and exciting.”

Alex Veeneman, a Chicago based SPJ member, is SPJ’s Community Coordinator and is a contributing blogger to the SPJ blog network on British media issues and social media’s role in the future of journalism.

Outside of SPJ, Veeneman is Co-Student Life Editor and a contributing writer for Kettle Magazine, an online publication in the UK. You can interact with Veeneman on Twitter here.

The views expressed in this blog post unless otherwise specified are that of the author’s, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SPJ Digital community, the board and staff of the Society of Professional Journalists, or its members.

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