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Might a messaging app be in your news future? Three now in use

by: Nancy Yoshihara |

With a rapid rise in messaging apps that nearly rivals social media use, apps could become prospective content distributors for publishers. Easier said than done because most apps were not conceived with content distribution in mind, according to NewsWhip.

“The majority of people don’t sign up to get news pushed at them; they sign up to talk with their friends. That remains the case, and publishers looking to experiment with any messaging app should be aware of the pitfalls of applying a blanket strategy. Patience and creativity is needed,“ writes Liam Corcoran of NewsWhip.  

Corcoran cites three examples of mobile apps recently used by publishers. Here is a quick rundown (for details see his article):

  • Facebook’s Messenger is used by the German tabloid Bild, The Wall Street Journal and CNN. Messenger, recently opened to all publishers, distributes content “without the algorithm-related issues of the news feed."
  • Line is a Japanese messaging app with hundreds of millions of users that The Economist is using to reach people in Southeast Asia and India in particular. The publication now has about 150,000 Line subscribers.
  • Yik Yak is not a message-first app like the above two. It is mobile-only app that is very popular among a young audience in North America. The BBC used it for the Canadian election.

Nancy Yoshihara

Nancy Yoshihara is content manager at KDMC and its website with a focus on News for Digital Innovators and Tools, Tips
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