Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
“It’s just become daily news”: Six Florida newsrooms are teaming up to cover climate change
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Sept. 23, 2016, 1:48 p.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: medium.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Ricardo Bilton   |   September 23, 2016

Publishers responding to Facebook’s video push are doing all they can to get more videos on the platform — even if those videos started off as something very different. (And even if it turns out that some elements of Facebook video use has been significantly overstated.)

The Economist, for example, recently started using Facebook to repackage some of its magazine stories into video form. The format, somewhat awkwardly dubbed the “vimage,” takes advantage of a Facebook tool that lets publishers merge a series of photos into videos (though they can probably more accurately be called slideshows).

The Economist has created a handful of the videos over the past few weeks, using the format to repackage stories about the collapse of a South Korean container line, Chinese children left behind by their parents’ migration to cities in search of jobs, and a review of Johan Norberg’s optimistic book Progress. The magazine’s social team has kept things simple, limiting the videos to roughly 30 seconds and rarely going beyond a few words, a chart, or a photo in each individual slide. Most don’t have music. The entire creation process can take as little as two minutes, says Economist social media writer James Waddell. “But extracting the relevant copy from the article and making sure it looks good and reads well takes a little more work,” he added.

The videos are a variation of the approach that many publishers have taken when creating video for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Responding to the way that users watch videos on the platform, publishers have produced videos that rely on text overlays rather than sound keep viewers hooked.

fb-video-tool

Economist readers seem to responding well to the format. The video adaption of the Norberg book review reached 3.3 million people, which Waddell owes in part to its reliance on few words and lots of statistics to tell the story. Numbers in general seem to work well with the videos, he said. Adapting its existing content is not a new tactic for The Economist, which has also used Facebook video to create and “audiogram” snippets of some of its podcasts.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
“It’s just become daily news”: Six Florida newsrooms are teaming up to cover climate change
“It’s not a science story for us here in South Florida. It’s not some kind of theoretical exploration. It’s real. It’s what many in our community experience in their neighborhoods.”
Could technology built for advertising make public radio less top-down and more bottom-up?
Plus: A British podcast company finds surprising success stateside, the Supreme Court provides a S02E14 for In the Dark, and a documentary about Freaknik.
Can you spot a fake photo online? Your level of experience online matters a lot more than contextual clues
Whether an image looks like a random Facebook post or part of a New York Times story doesn’t make much of a difference. But your level of experience with the Internet and image editing does.