Stop using push notifications for breaking news
That’s what the folks at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism and the Guardian U.S. Mobile Lab are saying. Pete Brown and his collaborators studied several weeks of push notifications from 31 iOS apps and 14 Apple News channels over the summer. They also interviewed 23 product managers, mobile editors, and audience managers from a range of news publications across the United States.
What they found was a “balloon over the past year in the number of alerts sent by news organizations on a daily basis.” Brown says the thinking behind news notification strategies is changing.
Instead of pushing out countless breaking news notifications over the course of the day — many of which often closely resemble or mirror the notifications your users get from other news apps — Brown’s research suggests that you should use your notifications to separate yourself and your publication from the rest of the pack. Use them to construct a more complete picture of your publication’s voice, and use them to foster a better, more intimate relationship with your users and your community.
Read more about push notifications:
- Your pocket is buzzing: 2017 was the year of push alerts and this new report illustrates why by Laura Hazard Owen
- Why newsrooms are using mobile push alerts for brand, not breaking by Pete Brown
- Pushed beyond breaking: US newsrooms use mobile alerts to define their brand by Pete Brown
- How We Made “The Year in Push Alerts” by Holly Allen, Laura Bennett, and Andrew Kahn
The age of mass-message marketing is almost upon us — are you ready?
Facebook has developed and started testing its new “Messenger Broadcast” interface, which will allow businesses to send marketing messages to Facebook users. At this point, it’s only a matter of time before everyone’s phones are buzzing and beeping with notifications about new messages from our favorite brands and publishers. From a practical standpoint, this makes a lot of sense and has plenty of useful applications. From an historical standpoint, however, this comes with plenty of opportunities for overuse and abuse.
Facebook’s vice president, David Marcus, said in an announcement last month that, “Of course, people using Messenger shouldn’t worry about getting spammed, because the starting principles still remain: businesses can’t send a sponsored message to threads that weren’t previously opened by their customers or prospects, and users have full control to block messages or people/businesses they no longer want to hear from.”
Whether you’re excited about this new Facebook program or skeptical, it’s important to be aware of how this might affect your publication. Here’s a list of links with more information:
- Facebook prototypes Messenger Broadcast for businesses by Josh Constine
- Facebook Is Testing a Way for Brands to Send Mass Messages via Messenger by David Cohen
- Introducing Messenger Platform 1.3 by David Marcus (Facebook VP)
- Pinterest Pinned Itself to Facebook Messenger With Its New Bot and Chat Extension by David Cohen
- Pinterest launches Facebook Messenger bot by Khari Johnson
- Washington Post gets, and sends, the message via chat apps by Simone Flueckiger
Voice assistants could have a big impact on local news — in more ways than one
As Michael Boland noted in a piece for StreetFight back in October, at least 20 percent of mobile searches are conducted via voice, and speech-to-text conversion is only getting better by the day. That means it’s increasingly important for publishers and news providers to get in on the action before it’s too late. This is especially true at the local level, where publishers are often the last to adopt new and emerging technologies or trends.
But that doesn’t mean everyone should necessarily just dive in and spend all of your time trying to figure out how to make an Alexa skill — even though it’s now easier than ever to make one. In part two of his series on voice assistants for local news, Boland delves into the process for choosing the voice platform that works best for you and your users.
That being said, here’s a list of links for those of you who have already done the research and want to get a jump on the coming voice assistant frenzy:
- Voice Assistants Could Transform Local — But Not Necessarily How You Might Think by Michael Boland
- How Voice Assistants Could Transform Local (Part II) by Michael Boland
- Snips lets you build your own voice assistant to embed into your devicesby Romain Dillet
- How MTV, The Telegraph and Evening Standard are using Amazon Echo Show by Lucinda Southern
- How the BBC is using voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home by Jessica Davies
- How Amazon Is Eroding Your Smartphone Dependence by Christina Bonnington
- Making an Alexa skill just got ridiculously easy by John Keefe
- Agencies Are Scrambling to Meet Client Demands for Amazon-Specific Solutions by Erik Oster
- 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Wake Words by Rowan Trollope
A ‘hack day’ project from The Atlantic: Great journalism in every new browser tab
Finally, this is a really simple but cool idea from The Atlantic’s Product team. They created a Chrome and Firefox browser extension that automatically displays a different piece of journalism from The Atlantic every time you open a new tab. I just thought this was really near, and I’d love to see this kind of thing adopted by a network of local news publishers or a group of partners on a collaborative reporting project.
Chart of the month:
Source: Rani Molla, “Video will make up 75 percent of mobile traffic in five years,” Recode.net (Dec. 2, 2017), available at: https://www.recode.net/2017/12/2/16727468/mobile-video-traffic-broadband-ericsson-video
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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.