Is The Internet The New Newspaper?

Everyone by now is aware of the narrative that the internet will/has killed the newspaper business, but what about social media and texting killing the internet?

Recently, Clique Media Group, the LA publisher of Who What Wear, Birdie and My Domaine, launched its latest property, Obsessee.

The curious feature about this new product? No real website, instead Obsessee boasts a simple landing page with 10 links each directing you to one of its social media platforms. The reasoning behind this curious move? “Gen Z are not [visiting] dot coms,” explained Katherine Power, co-founder and chief executive of Clique Media Group.

“Obsessee’s team of four dedicates its time to posting stories, videos and images directly to social platforms…While the distribution model may be fairly unique, so is the content. Along with fashion, beauty, home and shopping — Clique’s usual subject matter — there is a broader lifestyle focus.” (via BoF)

The reality of modern day marketing is that the consumers want everything at their convenience. The consumer doesn’t want to hunt for their information, they want it now and where they are, which increasingly is social media.

On any given day I’ll read a variety of articles pertaining to tech and fashion, but I’m not stumbling upon them from the companies website, I’m getting there from Twitter. Even the most die hard fan of any website isn’t spending the majority of their time there. In order to reach the widest audience companies have to be where they are. It use to be that people sought out newspapers, then people sought out websites, but now it is becoming about news seeking you out.

Facebook during its recent F8 conference announced the launch of messenger with a curious new service attached, chatbots. The new quirk in messenger allows for consumers to instantly get a variety of information, and services, by merely texting a particular company.

Chatbots function based off of prompts entered from the user and deliver content based off the suggestion. For instance, CNN’s bot will prompt you for keywords to deliver content specific to that keyword.

“Instead of wandering around an app, a chatbot could ask your criteria and surface relevant things to buy. Rather than sifting through tons of content on a news site, a chatbot could learn what you like and deliver personal digests and suggestions.” (via TechCrunch) Everything is going custom. Previously content was put out on the widest of scales and the consumer was left to funnel through, but now this is changing. Your actions and interests will dictate what you see, it’s the haute couture version of everything tailored with you in mind.

So what happens to the mobile website when any and everything is easily accessible through chatting or social media?

The New Age of Content

A social-media only publication, like Obsessee, is likely the future of media. Buzzfeed has recently stumbled upon shaky ground due to missed revenue projections, which are a response to the “steadily declining commodity value of traffic,” explained Michael Wolff, a veteran media columnist. Websites, and the subsequent value generated through ads, aren’t what they used to be. Consumers aren’t actively scouring the internet to get their news, instead it is being dropped off — much like newspapers use to be — to their phones via social media, and more than likely soon chatbots.

The case for social media, and services like chatbots, has never been stronger. The beginning of the next dramatic change in media could be happening now. In 5 years, you could receive one text in the morning that provides any and everything you could potentially want. One link talking about how your favorite NFL team just traded for a new star, one link about a fashion company taking strides to be more ethical, since you are environmentally conscious and a fan of the brand, while yet another link leads you to a sale of an item you previously searched for from Nordstrom. It will be clinically precise in how well the content will correlate with you and your interests. No more hunting, no searching, just any and everything you could want delivered to you on demand, possibly even before you know you want it.

What do you think, what value does the homepage, and possibly the internet at large, hold as content becomes more localized? Will chatbots and social media spell the eventual end of the internet as we know it — would love to hear your thoughts.

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