Media News + Moves: The rise and impact of creator-led social spaces
1. Creators turn to private chat apps to foster community and growth
- What’s happening: Influencers are setting up groups on free chat apps — like Geneva, Discord and Telegram — which they argue offer a more intimate, community-oriented experience than open social networks like TikTok and Instagram. Similar to Slack, these closed platforms allow like-minded fans the opportunity to socialize, create forums and interact directly with creators, according to Taylor Lorenz of The Washington Post.
- Between the lines: Absent of valuable metrics, like follower counts or likes, these tight-knit groups are providing a new way for creators to bring people together, experiment with new forms of content and, yes, make more money. Instead of competing for engagement on over-saturated platforms, they can segment their audience in one central location.
- Why it matters: While there is currently no indication these creators will leave legacy networks, we can expect this trend to grow as creators further define, refine and grow their reach. Free chat apps can serve as a potential platform for brands to effectively test, market and sell their latest products. August, a budding period-care brand, built a 3,000-person community that its co-founder says has been essential to the company’s success, Lorenz reports.
- The bottom line: Fostering new types of digital communities is a worthwhile investment that can help organizations build customer loyalty and increase relevance among a younger market. Brands — including Peloton, Victoria’s Secret, Glossier and Outdoor Voices — have excelled in doing this, and the space will continue to ramp up with emerging, collaborative spaces such as Web3 and the metaverse.
2. What’s the news?
- The Information is rolling out a series of features to make it easier for its network of influential tech and business subscribers to connect, including a Reddit-like news feed (with up- and down-rankings for articles), direct messaging and a directory. (Axios)
- Morning Brew is continuing its rapid expansion by launching a healthcare vertical. The newsletter will launch this fall, spearheaded by former POLITICO reporter Amanda Eisenberg. (Talking Biz News)
- Reuters is launching a subscription research business called Reuters Insight that will be geared toward individuals making corporate strategy decisions, as opposed to enterprise clients. (Axios)
- The CEO of blog site Medium, and co-founder of Twitter and Blogger, Evan Williams, has announced he is stepping down after his 10th anniversary as CEO. Tony Stubblebine, CEO of Coach.me, will take over. (The New York Times)
- The Guardian announced Betsy Reed, former editor in chief of The Intercept, will be leading its U.S. newsroom starting in the fall. (The New York Times)
3. What’s trending?
- According to Google’s own internal data, nearly half of Gen Z prefers searching on TikTok and Instagram. Relatedly, Instagram announced that all video content under 15 minutes will be uploaded via Reels moving forward — a format that mirrors TikTok. (Business Insider)
- Engagement with news articles on social media plummeted by 50% since the first half of last year, despite more articles published. Cable viewership across CNN and MSNBC is also down 47% and 33% respectively in prime time for the first half of 2022, while Fox News ratings are up 12%. (Axios)
- Twitter sued Elon Musk on July 12 for refusing to honor obligations to the company and its shareholders after agreeing to purchase the platform in April. Amid the highly publicized litigation, Twitter executives are exploring new ways to make the platform more profitable — with or without Musk. (The Economist)
4. Journalist moves
💼 Business: Reporting on business for newspapers, magazines and digital outlets
- Lananh Nguyen, reporter — finance, Reuters (previous: banking reporter, The New York Times) (Talking Biz News)
- Amber Burton, reporter — CHRO Daily newsletter, Fortune (previous: tech reporter, Protocol) (Talking Biz News)
- Tom Simonite, story editor — business, WIRED (promotion) (Talking Biz News)
- Jeff Guo, co-host — Planet Money, NPR (promotion) (Talking Biz News)
- Nick Fountain, co-host — Planet Money, NPR (promotion) (Talking Biz News)
- Neal Templin, editor and reporter, Barron’s (promotion) (Cision Media Moves)
- Brendan Vaughan, editor in chief, Fast Company (previous: deputy editor, Insider) (Cision Media Moves)
- Sarah Min, investing reporter, CNBC (previous: investing reporter, Chief Investment Officer Magazine) (Cision Media Moves)
- Vicky Gan, senior staff editor — flexible editing desk, The New York Times (previous: copy editor, Slate) (Talking Biz News)
💻 Technology: Covering startups, advanced technologies and the intersection of tech/business
- Maddie Bender, innovation reporter, The Daily Beast (previous: freelance reporter) (Muckrack)
- Sarah Emerson, tech reporter, Forbes (previous: senior tech reporter, BuzzFeed News) (Cision Media Moves)
- Emily Baker-White, tech reporter, Forbes (previous: senior tech reporter, BuzzFeed News) (Cision Media Moves)
🔍 Other Moves of Interest: New roles for other notable reporters and editors