Articles about "WhatsApp"


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Cue the outcry — more big Twitter changes on the way

Friday. Good morning (or good evening, if you’re reading this at night). Andrew Beaujon is back next week.

  1. Let’s freak out about Twitter changes: Sayeth Twitter: “in many cases, the best Tweets come from people you already know, or know of. But there are times when you might miss out on Tweets we think you’d enjoy.” Noooooooo! (Twitter) | Stuart Dredge weighs in: “The difference between the two social networks is that Facebook is taking stories out of its news feed – it prioritises around 300 a day out of a possible 1,500 for the average user – while Twitter is only adding tweets in. For now, at least.” (The Guardian) | Previously: I wrote about the Facebookification of Twitter and the Twitterfication of Facebook. (Poynter)
  2. More Twitter changes: Now with audio! “Notably, Twitter is teaming up with Apple to let users listen to certain tracks and buy the music directly from the iTunes store,” Yoree Koh reports. Twitter is also partnering with Soundcloud. (Wall Street Journal) | “Throughout your listening experience, you can dock the Audio Card and keep listening as you continue to browse inside the Twitter app,” product manager Richard Slatter writes in a blog post. (Twitter)
  3. The media kinda sucks at covering Ebola: Just look at how it covered #ClipboardMan, Arielle Duhaime-Ross writes. (The Verge)
  4. Liberian media really sucks at covering Ebola: The Daily Observer newspaper “has become a feeding ground of phony conspiracy,” Terrence McCoy reports. “The top three news stories on the website all allege medical professionals purposely infected the country with Ebola, ideas that have drawn the conspiratorial from across the planet.” The bad journalism is leading to a debate over press freedom in the country. (Washington Post) | From yesterday: The BBC is using WhatsApp to spread accurate information about the virus in Africa. (Journalism.co.uk)
  5. Correction of the week: Deadspin retracted its story claiming U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner didn’t actually play high school football, as he claimed, after the primary source changed his mind. “As serial collectors of media fuck-ups, we add this self-portrait to the gallery,” editor Tommy Craggs writes. (Deadspin) | Earlier, Craggs told Erik Wemple, “If you’re looking for someone to blame here, blame me for getting way too cocky about my site’s ability to prove a negative.” (Washington Post)
  6. Whisper vs. The Guardian: A damning report in The Guardian on Thursday claimed Whisper, “the social media app that promises users anonymity and claims to be ‘the safest place on the internet’, is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed.” (The Guardian) | Whisper editor-in-chief Neetzan Zimmerman angrily denied the report, and wrote on Twitter that the piece “is lousy with falsehoods, and we will be debunking them all.” (Washington Post) | Here’s a good explainer from Carmel DeAmicis: “The two sides disagree over what constitutes ‘personally identifiable information,’ whether rough location data tied to a user’s previous activity could expose someone.” (Gigaom) | And here’s a take from Mathew Ingram, who says Whisper’s problem is that it “wants to be both an anonymous app and a news entity at the same time.” (Gigaom)
  7. American journalists detained in Russia: Joe Bergantino, co-founder of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, and Randy Covington, a professor at the University of South Carolina, are in Russia to teach an investigative journalism workshop. They were found guilty of “violating the visa regime” and will return to the U.S. on Saturday as scheduled. “Russian authorities have used visa issues in the past as a pretext to bar the entry for certain individuals to the country,” Nataliya Vasilyeva reports. (AP via ABC News)
  8. Good times at High Times: Subscriptions and advertising pages are growing for “the magazine about all things marijuana” as it celebrates its 40th birthday. Dan Skye, High Times’ editorial director, tells Michael Sebastian, “I think the legalization has everything to do with the boom.” (Ad Age)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The Daily News (see it at the Newseum).NY_DN
  10. No job moves today: Benjamin Mullin has the day off. But be sure to visit Poynter’s jobs site. Happy weekend!

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The New York Times might be snapping you soon

A Wednesday staff memo announcing the hire of New York Times deputy editor of audience development Justin Bank noted that he will be in charge of formulating “strategies for all existing and new social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest but also new ones like Snapchat and WhatsApp).”

At least one Poynter follower wondered publicly whether that means The Gray Lady is jumping onto Snapchat.

The answer? Maybe, says Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokesperson for The New York Times. Although The Times doesn’t currently have Snapchat or WhatsApp accounts, the paper “may experiment on those platforms.”

RELATED: Here’s how to use Snapchat (and how not to use Snapchat)

If The Times starts snapping its readers, it won’t be the first news organization to do so. The Washington Post, NPR and NowThisNews have all used the ephemeral messaging app to engage with their audiences. In August, BuzzFeed announced a new division that would use social platforms, including Snapchat, to propagate its content. Read more

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Newspaper distributor to do same-day delivery for Amazon

mediawiremorningIt’s Thursday. Here’s a pop quiz: How many media stories do you think you’re about to get?

  1. UK newspaper distributor will do same-day Amazon deliveries: “Connect Group will make early morning deliveries at the same time as it delivers daily newspapers and use contractors to fulfill a second delivery in the afternoon.” Connect distributes The Guardian and The Mirror, Rory Gallivan reports. (Wall Street Journal)
  2. Longtime S.F. Chronicle editor William German dies at 95: “Mr. German began his career at the paper as a copy boy. When he retired 62 years later, he was the dean of West Coast editors. He had helped transform The Chronicle from the No.3 newspaper in a four-newspaper city to the largest paper in Northern California.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  3. BBC battles Ebola in Africa with WhatsApp: “The service will deliver information on preventative care, health tips and breaking news bulletins specific to the region about the virus in French and English, and often in audio formats,” writes Alastair Reid. (Journalism.co.uk) | Related: 5 tips on covering Ebola from the Dallas Morning News and KERA News. (Poynter) | Related: 5 Ebola falsehoods, via PunditFact. (Poynter)
  4. Ken Doctor on Kushner’s OC Register: “Aaron Kushner, by age 40, may be setting a land-speed record for entry, meteoric rise, embarrassing fall and exit from the newspaper industry.” (Nieman Lab) | Related: A lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles Times alleges not only that Kushner has failed to pay more than $2 million owed to the Times for delivery services, but also that the Register kept tips intended for the LA Times newspaper carriers who delivered the Register. (OC Weekly) | Related: “I admired his daring approach, his insistence that investing in newspapers rather than constantly cutting them back and weakening them would give them a better chance to prevail in the digital age,” Rem Rieder writes. (USA Today)
  5. Another alt-weekly closes: The Knoxville News Sentinel, which owns the Metro Pulse, laid off all 23 staffers, including everyone at the alt-weekly. “Yes, it’s true. We don’t exist anymore. We no longer have jobs either. This week’s issue will be our last,” Metro Pulse wrote on its Facebook page. (Poynter)
  6. Indianapolis TV news crew carjacked: No one was hurt after the van was stolen by a gunman after a reporter and photographer for WXIN covered a prayer vigil. (Fox59)
  7. Ernie Pyle statue has a misspelling: The Indiana University alum who covered World War II is referred to as a “U.S. War Corespondent.” The sculptor says it could become “part of the lore of the piece.” (Indiana Daily Student)
  8. ICYMI: At the Washington Post, “what began as a simple experiment to improve the site’s author pages has evolved into the beginnings of a completely new content management platform,” explains Benjamin Mullin. (Poynter)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The Kansas City Star celebrates the Royals’ trip to the World Series (courtesy the Newseum).kansascitystar
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Ryan Kellett is now audience and engagement editor at The Washington Post. Previously, he was national digital editor there. (The Washington Post) | Dean Haddock is a visiting fellow at the Nieman Foundation. He is director of web and information technology for StoryCorps. Melody Joy Kramer is a visiting fellow at the Nieman Foundation. She is an editor and digital strategist at NPR. Donna Pierce is now a visiting fellow at the Nieman Foundation. She is a contributing editor at Upscale Magazine. Jack Riley is now a visiting fellow at the Nieman Foundation. He is head of audience development for The Huffington Post UK. Freek Staps is now a visiting fellow at the Nieman Foundation. He heads up business news start-up NRC Q. Amy Webb is now a visiting fellow at the Nieman Foundation. She is the founder and CEO of Webbmedia Group. (Nieman Lab) | Job of the day: BuzzFeed UK is looking for a political reporter. Get your résumés in! (BuzzFeed) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Facebook bets on big future for ‘dark social’ sharing with WhatsApp acquisition

If Facebook wants to maintain its dominance over our social lives online, its acquisition of hot messenger platform WhatsApp indicates it could do so without becoming the hellish, share-everything-with-everyone company from Dave Eggers’ “The Circle.”

With WhatsApp, Facebook now offers a significant dark social product — a way for users to share content with small groups of people away from the spotlight of a public social network. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used the term “open” eight times in a letter defining the company for its IPO, he’s clearly also interested in the growing market for more closed-off forms of communication — from private platforms like WeChat and Kik to very, very private platforms like Whisper and Secret.

Zuckerberg again used the term “open” in a statement about the WhatsApp acquisition but also emphasized that sharing can take many forms:

Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. We do this by building services that help people share any type of content with any group of people they want. WhatsApp will help us do this by continuing to develop a service that people around the world love to use every day.

So what’s the impact for publishers? Liz Gannes of Re/code reported Thursday that BuzzFeed has included an option to share content via WhatsApp in iOS — and the WhatsApp button has drawn more action than the Twitter button:

“Every time we looked at WhatsApp’s numbers, it blew us away,” said BuzzFeed president Jon Steinberg. “We knew last April this was a huge social network and have become increasingly obsessed with it.”

See the green button? BuzzFeed already offers iPhone users the ability to quickly share content via WhatsApp.

BuzzFeed’s option to share via WhatsApp is offered alongside icons for sharing via Facebook and Twitter. But as Gannes notes, it’s distinct from those platforms in that the sharing is private (i.e. person-to-person), more like SMS texting or email. (Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton helpfully cautions against reading too much into the behavior BuzzFeed observed.)

So what’s most interesting about the deal is not that Facebook gobbled up a burgeoning social-media competitor, but that it acquired a platform that allows users to share very differently than Facebook users. Facebook users broadcast content widely; WhatsApp users target content narrowly. Users of Facebook discover content (especially in its new Paper app); users of WhatsApp receive it.

That doesn’t look like two services competing in the same space. That looks like two services that, thanks to their massive user bases, together could meet all our sharing needs — both public and private (especially if WhatsApp maintains its appealing commitment to privacy). The biggest social network could become the biggest player in dark social, too, if more consumers turn away from sharing links via Google products like Gmail and Hangouts and toward sharing links via WhatsApp — and if WhatsApp makes a play for tablet and desktop users, too, becoming a cross-platform version of Apple’s iMessage, available everywhere all the time.

The New York Times famously highlights dark social sharing throughout its site with its “Most Emailed” widget. It also publishes lists of the stories most tweeted and shared on Facebook. The lists tend to differ in fascinating ways, reflecting not only the platforms’ different user bases but also the different thinking behind the decision to share a link with one person versus the decision to share a link with many people. It would be interesting to see if a “Most Shared via WhatsApp” list more closely resembled email sharing or Facebook sharing — or if it surfaced entirely different content, uniquely suited to a WhatsApp sharing mentality.

If readers — particularly younger ones — continue to see WhatsApp as an easier, more relevant way to share content with small numbers of people than comparatively antiquated email and SMS, publishers would do well to follow BuzzFeed’s lead, facilitate WhatsApp sharing and see where it leads.

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