BuzzFeed’s native videos

‘Pictures came and broke your heart’: the social video factor

Our personal weekly selection about journalism and innovation. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

edited by Marco Nurra

  • BuzzFeed will split itself into two new departments: news and entertainment. Expanding video, but not downsizing news, as Mathew Ingram reported this Wednesday: “One reason for the move is the need to create more video because that’s where most of the money is in the media industry, and particularly at BuzzFeed — which, like several other media outlets, is being paid by Facebook to create live video.”
  • The rise of video is making 2016 a weird year to be a digital publisher. Facebook has shifted the formula by which it sorts your News Feed to prioritize video over outbound links. It’s easy to talk about this in the abstract as a set of levers and incentives that digital publishers are forced to apprehend. But the change in priorities of advertisers and distribution channels is more than just a minor new hurdle — it’s a requirement for those publishers to enter an entirely new business.
  • Some publishers are worried about the viability of branded video on Facebook. Media companies are amassing increasingly large audiences for video on Facebook, allowing them to make more money from producing and distributing videos paid for by advertisers. But the more popular video becomes on the social network, the more some publishers worry about how Facebook’s policies will evolve regarding such branded content videos. Facebook says it has no plans to take a cut of the growing business or to penalize advertiser-sponsored videos.
  • The New York Times’ public editor, Liz Spayd, has written an (auto-) critical analysis about the strengths and weaknesses of their Facebook Live videos: too many don’t live up to the journalistic quality one typically associates with The Times.
“I need no convincing that live, interactive video is a medium worth embracing. If you’re not experimenting in the digital age, you won’t survive. But this particular experiment veers significantly from The Times’s past approach to new journalism forms. The newsroom has shown that innovation doesn’t have to equate with poor quality. Whether it was with interactive graphics, virtual reality or podcasts, The Times is a model for innovating at a thoughtful, measured pace, but with quality worthy of its name. This time, that’s not the case.”

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