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.

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Dan Newman   A return to trust

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

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Jake Levine   The return to now

Paul Ford   Go global

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

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

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

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

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

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

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

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

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

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

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

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

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

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

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

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

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

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

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

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

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

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

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

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

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

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

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

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

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

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

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

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Burt Herman   Things get real

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify