Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Media in the Middle East: A new study shows how the Arab world gets and shares digital news
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Jan. 29, 2015, 5:12 p.m.

The New York Times Style section published a story this week on This.cm, the Atlantic Media funded social platform we wrote about this summer. While there’s no doubt the platform has grown since August, not everyone agreed with the headline.

Meanwhile, independent media journalist Simon Owens had a story on his website that took a slightly less rosy view of the network. Owens points out that a network meant for sharing high-quality, longer pieces of journalism is most likely to be used in the evening hours, when users are looking for the lean-back experience associated with mobile devices. The problem, Owens pointed out to founder Andrew Golis, is that right now This.cm is optimized for desktop and clunky to use on mobile. Here’s what Golis had to say to that:

“All the decisions about how to approach it were premised on what is the most flexible and inexpensive way to test the idea,” he said. “There are a few problems that go with launching something as an app. One is you live and die by the Apple App Store. Secondly, it’s very hard to originate sharing inside of a mobile app. There’s tons of resharing inside mobile apps, but if you look at Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter, a lot of the original sharing has to start somewhere else, because it’s so hard to copy a link, leave the app, go into another app, and then paste it.”

Owens story has This.cm’s membership at around 4,800 users, a figure which undoubtedly increased with the Times story. (I can say for certain that my remaining six invitations to the platform were quickly snapped up.) But it’s not clear whether the exclusive vibe of the boutique platform will be enough to propel This.cm to the heights Golis has planned.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 45,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Media in the Middle East: A new study shows how the Arab world gets and shares digital news
Two-thirds of respondents in the countries studied said they get news from social media every day.
This former hedge fund guy is a one-man nonprofit investigating some of America’s shadiest companies
“You can’t stop these guys from getting rich as hell and doing things, but I can at least have a marker laid out there in the cyber world saying: Hey, take a hard look.”
The future of news is humans talking to machines
That’s the argument of the BBC’s Trushar Barot, who believes voice AI is the biggest technology revolution that the news industry is missing — and that it’s not too late to do something about it.