Facebook might be taking a stronger foothold in the breaking news world of journalism today, with their launch of FB Newswire, a news aggregator resource for journalists that collects Facebook posts deemed newsworthy in a single page stream.
They are hoping it becomes a trusted source for journalists, meeting their need to air breaking news faster and speed up the source verification process.
There is also a Twitter feed, @FBNewswire. Interesting cross-platform use. I'm thinking the Twitter stream just might be more successful source of traffic to stories for Journalists than the actual Facebook page it pulls from, but we'll see!
The amount of advertising that quickly clutters up the Facebook page by those trying to newsjack might be the determining factor.
Powered by Storyful, "the leader in social content discovery and verification for newsrooms," according to Facebook. Wonder why I'm not familiar with them? Maybe because I blog. I'm not a "real" journalist.
But as a PR person, you'd think they would be on my radar if they were "the leader." But it's almost impossible to keep up with the millions of news platforms, isn't it? Especially if they aren't relevant to your client base of the moment. We focus on what fits our needs at any given time, not learning the entire universe of news platforms. It's the only way to manage the load.
Have you heard of Storyful? Clue me in down below with a comment.
According to Facebook, "this will include original photos, videos and status updates posted by people on the front lines of major events like protests, elections and sporting events." While this is something happening for years now on Facebook, this might open the floodgates of Ordinary Joe being featured on CNN and citizen journalism.
PR pros and Facebook users alike, be prepared. Even more than before, anything posted on Facebook is fair game for public consumption on any news platform in the world. If it's picked up by the Storyful aggregation process, it can end up anywhere. Everywhere.
Opportunities Emerge For Public Relations Pros
This can be a fantastic thing for PR professionals who move quickly when it comes to supporting clients with breaking news (or newsjacking), or it could be just more of the same thing we already see happening. If I were you, though, I'd brush up on my newsjacking skills and learn more about how Storyful aggregates. There could be some fantastic opportunities there. It also might be interesting to use the FB Newswire page itself to join the story, via posting on their page and comments. You never know where that might lead...
Where are PR professionals and brands most likely to insert themselves into the story? Through sponsored advertising on the FB Newswire page, through comments and posts on the page, assuming it's allowed via the privacy settings. Also through cozying up to Storyful to learn where they are aggregating the news FROM. Opportunities will abound and I, for one, will be fascinated to see how it all plays out.
Will Journalists Trust It?
From the flip side of the fence, for journalists and newsrooms, what makes this most interesting is that Storyful claims all posts on FB Newswire are verified. It "promises to offer journalists a repository of verified, real-time content for use in covering breaking news stories," according to sources in a TechCrunch article and CNN.
I'd love to hear more about that process and how it works.
The entire journalist world struggles with juggling breaking news and taking time to verify sources when it emerges on social media. Can a social media platform teach them how it's done? We'll see.
It will be fascinating to watch what happens next.