texting is lit rn, fam

“It’s the best of both worlds: Outlets can choose what type of content they want to share — video, text, image — and who they want to share it with. And users feel like they’re getting exactly the kind of info they want, in the place where they’re making most of their daily interactions.”

It’s not where you go for your news. It’s how you get it.

News is about to get personal.

I came to this realization after a few job interviews over the last month or so. I recently left my position at Google to pivot back into media and spoke to a number of different editors at different organizations. One of their biggest questions seemed to be where I got my news. Instead of naming a few publications, or networks, I told the truth: everywhere. Or rather, I get my news from whichever publication provides the information to me in the fastest and most convenient places. If a story is packaged creatively on Instagram Stories, Twitter, or through a push notification, that’s where I consume it.

In 2018, I predict news organizations will turn that up a notch — with messaging. Imagine if we could get the news, or news we want, where we get every other urgent message sent to us? Just as The Skimm built a brand on meeting people in their inbox, the same could be said of using messaging for news outlets looking to get even closer to their readers.

With social platforms that tout quick news “highlight reels” and the increasing use of on-the-go devices, the organizations that will make reading lists are the ones with the most interesting content in the most convenient places. As messaging apps create a higher thirst for personalization and immediacy, they also open the lines of communication between reader and journalist and news organizations or individual journalists alike should definitely take advantage of a relationship that’s much more direct.

Unlike bots, the way journalists use text message or messaging services won’t try to interact with readers so much as they try to get them their news in a more personal and direct way. Instead of solely relying on these social pages for traffic or brand awareness, media companies will have the ability to build a reliable trust with users through texts. And unlike a push notification that has a shelf life, a text will become a personal way for readers to save or archive their news for when they’re ready for it, much like a text from anyone they deem worthwhile in their life.

Facebook Groups and social live streams have allowed outlets to get closer than ever to certain demographics, but messaging services will not only expand on these interactions, but allow outlets to segment and target their readers, too. This is especially important if an outlet is attempting to reach a younger audience, like Gen Z. Facebook is no longer the best option. Texting, or direct messaging, is where it’s at. I’ve seen this slowly start to happen already. Earlier this year, I subscribed to a text service in beta called Hope. Hope sends a text each time big news happens along with a link to a way for subscribers, in this case millennial women, to take action.

It’s the best of both worlds: Outlets can choose what type of content they want to share — video, text, image — and who they want to share it with. And users feel like they’re getting exactly the kind of info they want, in the place where they’re making most of their daily interactions.

One of the reasons I love my Apple Watch is because I feel like it’s meant just for me. I know everything that comes through is tailored to my needs — and the most vital messages are the ones that I see. And while I will always pledge allegiance to certain outstanding outlets as a journalist, I will still maintain that I get my news everywhere. The same is more true than ever for the rest of my generation, and those who are even younger, too. Instead of building something and hoping readers will come, journalists should figure out a way to get closer to where they already are, and always have been. Right now, that’s in the nearest group chat or text convo.

Mandy Velez is a contributing writer at Yahoo and a freelancer.

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Julia B. Chan   Looking for loyalty in all the right places

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Susie Banikarim   R.I.P. Pivot to Video (2017–2017)

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Jim Moroney   Newspapers have to be good enough for readers to pay for

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Helen Havlak   Keywords, not publishers, power the world’s biggest feeds

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The Snapchat scenario and the risk of more closed platforms

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Sara M. Watson   Feeds will open up to new user-determined filters

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg   (Hint: It’s about your brand)

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Women of color will reclaim and monetize our time

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Marcela Donini and Thiago Herdy   Collaboration is the way forward for Brazilian journalism

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Richard J. Tofel   The platforms’ power demands more reporters’ attention

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Aron Pilhofer   We can’t leave the business to the business side any more

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Errin Haines   At the ballot, it’s time to count black women

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Alan Soon   The rise of start of psychographic, micro-targeted media

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Jesse Holcomb   Information disorder, coming to a congressional district near you

Jake Levine   The return to now

Dan Shanoff   You down with OTT? (Yeah, DTC)

Eric Ulken   The year local publishers get smart(er) about change

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Tanzina Vega   It’s time for media companies to #PassTheMic

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Paul Ford   Go global

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Burt Herman   Things get real