Futures Lab Update #124: How to Tailor News for Each Social Media Platform

by Reuben Stern
October 8, 2015
NowThis uses diverse media on Twitter to keep things fresh on the breaking news-focused platform. Screenshot courtesy of RJI.

This week we bring you tips for what works best when delivering news on each of the various social media platforms.


"When we talk about Facebook, we often talk about shareability and emotion...When it comes to Twitter, it's obviously all about speed and breaking news." -- Sarah Frank, executive producer, NowThis

The insights come from Sarah Frank, executive producer of NowThis, a news organization targeted toward young people that has seen its video views skyrocket ever since it stopped publishing to a desktop website and focused on distributing its content exclusively via mobile and social media.


In our interview, Frank walks us through specific strategies for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, YikYak, YouTube, Google+ and a few other emerging platforms.

Reporting by Daniel Shapiro.

For more information:


Links to the various NowThis social feeds are assembled on the organization’s website.

For more details about how NowThis operates, check out our previous report that includes an explanation of how young staff members help shape the operation.

Sarah Frank spoke in September about targeting across platforms on a panel with Ryan Lytle, social projects manager at Mashable, at the 2015 Online News Association conference in Los Angeles. Here are the slides from that presentation:

Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

FuturesLabWebBanner-mediashiftThe Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.

Tagged: apps engagement facebook instagram mobile reporting NowThis rji rji futures lab search engines shareability Snapchar social media social platforms story distribution tumblr twitter Vine youtube

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