Photo credit: Melina Sampaio Manfrinatti via Fickr.

10 ways to push messaging platforms beyond their boundaries

Plus Facebook ads, mobile reporting equipment, and more from this month’s mobile lab newsletter — subscribe!

Joe Amditis
Aug 15, 2017 · 9 min read

Melody Kramer put together a great list of 10 interesting ways you can use messaging platforms and services to go beyond the basics and extend the medium even further. The list, published by Poynter, includes creative ways other news organizations have used these kinds of platforms, as well as a few ideas of her own. One of the common themes here, among others, seems to be specificity and specialization — pick one thing or subject and do it really, really well.

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Facebook is putting ads everywhere in hopes of finding the next News Feed

Facebook’s nearly ubiquitous and iconic News Feed has been the main money-maker for the company over the last five years. Unfortunately for Facebook, it’s running out of places to put the ads that generate the bulk of that revenue. Kurt Wagner of ReCode says there is simply nowhere else in the News Feed to put them without doing some serious damage to the average user experience, which would also have a negative effect on the company’s revenue. Since it can’t put any more ads in the News Feed, it’s putting them virtually everywhere else in the hopes that doing so will uncover Facebook’s next cash cow.

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Can’t afford professional reporting equipment? Just use your phone.

A new report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has found that interviewees are less intimidated by smaller, hand-held equipment such as mobile phones and are more likely to approach a reporting using a smartphone to report the news than a big TV crew with professional equipment. Finnish journalist Panu Karhunen, the author of the study, conducted a two-pronged investigation into the ways mobile journalism affects accessibility. Caroline Scott of says Karhunen wanted to find out whether journalists can get closer to the story and the subject using mobile technology instead of big, expensive reporting equipment.

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What you really need is a newsletter (not necessarily an app)

According to a new digital news fact sheet released earlier this month by the Pew Research Center, it’s more important for digital publications to have a quality newsletter than it is for them to have a mobile app. Laura Hazard Owen of Nieman Lab says the rate at which digital news outlets are building new apps is slowing, although those numbers do not appear to include mobile-responsive websites. In fact, one of the most prevalent emerging publishing methods was the newsletter. The fact sheet found that a full 97 percent of the news outlets studied offered newsletters, while 92 percent of those studied also maintained an official presence on Apple News.

Click here to read the full story.

Chart of the month:

Upcoming trainings & events:

Everyone’s a publisher now. Whether your company has a whole social media team or one person with a smart phone, you have to stay within your own lane on the information highway. It’s crucial to understand the dos and don’ts of copyright and libel law before posting. Learn how you can say everything you want and need to say without being exposed to legal risks. This webinar runs on August 16 starting at 1:00pm and costs $39. More info.

You’ve seen moving ads on your social media feed. Creating your own well designed animations including text, shape, photos and video is easier to achieve than it appears. Find a way to spice up the campaign for your business, film, nonprofit, or event. The webinar will run on August 30 at 1:00pm and costs $39. More info.

This two-day certificate workshop provides all skills necessary for shooting quality video on your iPhone. We’ll take you through how to capture key moments from events, product launches, conferences and interviews to publishing on social networks or your website. Tuition for this workshop is $865 and it runs on September 27–28 from 8:30am to 4:30pm daily. More info.

Come make a Facebook Messenger bot with John Keefe, bot developer and app product manager at Quartz. Class meets Wednesdays, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 from 6:30 to 9 pm. The cost for this workshop is $249. $199 Early-bird summer deal runs until August 31. More info.

Bots, AI, and messaging apps

Revenue and sustainability

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Social tools and platforms

Design and development

Research and reports

Commentary and more

The Center for Cooperative Media will curate information about our efforts and the work of our grantees, along with relevant industry trends via this monthly newsletter, the contents of which will also be published on the NJ Mobile News Lab blog.

NJ Mobile News Lab

Experiments in Mobile News Innovation from the Center for…