On April 9, 2012 Facebook announced its acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion. The news hit industry publications by storm, as information was being released about an Instagram backlash on Twitter. Users indicated they wanted to delete their Instragram accounts and released information on how to save your Instagram pictures.
It was only fitting that Instagram users also expressed their opinions of the acquisition through Instagram, 1 picture at a time. The following are some examples:
Search for #Facebook on Instagram to see more user reactions.
Last week, I spent a couple minutes watching the Global Morning News before heading to work. What made this particular morning interesting was how many different touch-points I used to gather information.
That morning, @weslawong was giving the morning traffic report and briefly mentioned the Millennium Line in Vancouver was experience some delays. I quickly jumped onto Twitter to see if my morning commute would be affected.
I searched on Twitter and found the @translink Twitter account posted a message saying, “SkyTrain Service Alert – Millennium Line is experiencing up to 4 minute delays due to technical issues.”
I would have gone on the Translink website, but past experience told me I’d likely find more timely information on Twitter.
If I was on Facebook at the time, I might have checked the Translink Facebook Page, but Translink doesn’t appear to be using Facebook to inform its customers. Missed opportunity maybe?
With the large variety of communication channels and how different people choose to receive information, it’s important to consider all channels and how they can be used and integrated to serve your customers.
Local television news as we know it will never be the same.
We all know there are many changes afoot, but the extent of those changes is still largely unknown.
I started my television career in a local news outlet some 15 years ago. That was <gasp> before internet and email were integral parts of daily news operations. That is just downright hard to fathom today.
So I watch this part of the television industry with particular interest. I also keep my eye on it because it connects me to my community and keeps me informed. ; )
This week I was most excited to read how YouTube is getting in on the local news biz. A new feature called ‘News Near You’ is an aggregation of local news video coverage based on a user’s location.
Essentially, a personalized newscast could be spontaneously made for you – based on where you live in the world.
I love this idea for how it shifts the biggest driving force in local news production: time.
Time is what drives news: the time you need to fill on-air, the time you need to be limited to for each story (despite its worthiness), and the deadline editors, story producers, writers and the like are working towards to make it to air on-time.
This YouTube concept changes all of that. Suddenly there is no need to fill time, work to time, or limit the length of a good piece.
Let’s suppose, on a given day, there are 6 local news stories on ‘News Near You’ relevant to your community. All from different news outlets. Supposing each story ranges from 1 minute to 4 minutes long. You now have a YouTube created ‘newscast’ that is (roughly) 13-and-a-half minutes long versus the standard 48 minutes for a traditional hour-long broadcast. One of the things that used to drive me crazy about any newscast is the need to fill the time; hence limp chatter between anchors or fluff pieces on candy for pets.
When I first got into news, the average packaged news story needed to be two minutes long. Two-and-a-half minutes was okay, but one-and-a-half meant the anchors would need to stretch with lame conversation, or, another :30 piece would need to be added. Thus, what was driving the overall news production was time, not content. This would not be a factor on YouTube. Each packaged story could be as long, or as short, as it needed to be. Quick – someone pinch me!
Finally, and this idea is my favourite, News Near You gives you news whenever you happen to log into it. Meaning, there’s no six o’clock deadline. You can edit that story when you’re ready to – and make it available to people at two in the afternoon (potentially beating the competition) or at ten o’clock at night when you feel satisfied it’s really, really good.
Now the rub: it remains to be seen how local news online can be profitable enough to be sustainable. It takes a fair bit of money to pay for the quality production of news coverage.
I guess time will tell.
Senior Web Producer, Magnify Digital