In a year that saw Snapchat launch Discover, Twitter launch Periscope, and Apple launch Apple News, it might seem odd to suggest that next year news will slow down. Yet there has been a growing narrative of information overload as the number of sources for news have expanded exponentially.
News organizations have spent the last few years working on their liveblogging technology and push notification strategies, figuring out how they deliver the news faster than their rivals. 2016 is the year we’ll take a new approach.
We’ve always been curators of news — sifting through information, sorting fact from opinion, verifying data and explaining issues to readers. This service is needed now more than ever. Publishers who help their readers understand the world — without constantly pushing new information because it’s new, not better — will be more highly valued.
Apple has already announced it plans to add human curation to its News app to highlight top stories. Twitter also launched Moments and has been testing a “what you missed” feature. These changes are a recognition that simply serving stories up to readers is no longer enough, and that, perhaps, is where the biggest opportunity lies. We’ve been curating the news for almost 200 years — the technology has changed, the fundamental needs of our readers have not.
Nick Petrie is the deputy head of digital at The Times of London and The Sunday Times.