Fusion will now emoji the news using Facebook Messenger
Fusion readers have plenty of options when it comes to reading or watching the publication’s stories. They can go to its website, check them out on Instant Articles and catch them on TV. Now, they can get them on Facebook Messenger, too.
The millennial-focused digital publication this week started its first chatbot for Facebook Messenger. Called “Emoji News,” it does exactly what you think: Once followed, users receive capsule summaries of Fusion’s top stories, with select keywords and phrases replaced by emojis.
Users can subscribe to the Emoji News bot by searching for it on Facebook. Then they have the option to receive a daily emoji-filled news briefing from Fusion, or choose to search individual stories by sending an emoji to the bot, which will send back a story that features that emoji — as well as an article to the full story on Fusion.net.
It’s not the first chatbot from Fusion, which has used the technology both internally on Slack to automate parts of the reporting process as well as externally using platforms like Twitter, Google Chrome and WhatsApp. For instance, on Chrome, it created a browser extension that inserted Donald Trump quotes into any page that featured his name. It also developed a Twitterbot that corrected anyone who used the phrase “illegal immigrants” by recommending they use “undocumented worker” instead.
“That got people angry and yelling at the bot,” said Kevin Roose, news director at Fusion. “Some of them have been entertaining because we like to infuse humor into a lot of what we do, but we’ve also created some that are more serious and send important messages.”
With Emoji News, the focus was on creating a bot that could deliver headlines in a way that people communicate naturally with each other on text and other messaging apps. “A lot of the news bots out there are basically RSS feeds — just pushing headlines on an automated basis with no real voice behind it,” said Roose. “But when ‘Lemonade’ comes out, you don’t text ‘Beyoncé just released an album called Lemonade,’ you send an emoji of a bee and an emoji of a lemon.”
Emoji News was built by Patrick Hogan, Fusion’s resident “bot reporter” who works inside the company’s 12-person News Lab. This division is focused on covering breaking news and other trending topics, sometimes through traditional online articles, but often using new platforms and technologies including virtual reality, Vine, browser extensions and chatbots.
With chatbots, while Fusion includes links to the full stories, it’s not looking at them primarily as a referral source. “If we get tons of traffic, I won’t complain, but that’s not the point,” said Roose. “This is a way to reach the audience where they are and experiment with a new form of distribution.”
How NBC’s News Group is shaping NBCUniversal’s commerce bets
The nearly 50-person group now oversees two shopping shows, commerce sub-brands across three NBC News properties and direct deal-making for a growing list of sister brands.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: How publishers with teen audiences are making their Instagram presences more inclusive
In this week's Media Briefing, media reporter Sara Guaglione reports on what Bustle and Teen Vogue are doing to make sure their Instagram accounts don't contribute to the platform's reported negative impact on teen girls' wellbeing.
‘Levers being pulled that are unseen’: Measurement errors inside Amazon’s OSP program setting publishers on edge
A series of reporting errors has become emblematic of a program that has grown increasingly frustrating for its participants over the past year.
SponsoredHow publishers can future-proof their contextual advertising strategy
Sal Cacciato, managing director, North America, video intelligence The discourse on contextual targeting has moved from “if” to “how.” Publishers are well aware that they need to be packaging their audiences in ways that enable contextual targeting, but many are still asking themselves what is the best way to achieve that goal. In a telling […]
Axios has made $1M in revenue from its eight-month-old software licensing business
Less than a year in, Axios HQ is bringing in more revenue than expected, but the challenges of a tech company are different than those of a media company.
Why The Telegraph thinks retiring some newsletters will actually help grow subscriptions
After shuttering a half-dozen newsletters this year and consolidating others, The Telegraph produces over 40 editorial newsletters, eight of which are exclusive to paid subscribers.