The Economist is publishing on messaging app Line
The Economist is adding another platform to its social channel distribution: it has begun rolling out stories to Japanese messaging app Line.
While Facebook serves up content relevant to each user, and Twitter Moments is more breaking-news driven, Line will prioritize more visually compelling and evergreen content. It will post cartoons, quotes and arresting photos, as well as use the push notifications feature to publish breaking news pieces, explainers, promoting features like its print front cover every Thursday, or a piece from its daily digest app Espresso. In the future The Economist wants to introduce live Q&As with its journalists.
The Economist is not the first publisher on Line. Both the BBC and The Wall Street Journal have set up shop on the messaging app. Line, which was created in Japan and spread to other Asian markets, boasts 212 million monthly users.
The Economist plans to post between four and six pieces of content a day on the homepage, compared to 25 a day that goes to Facebook, and two pieces a week in the push notification channel.
“Line offers an interesting audience that we don’t have access to,” explained Denise Law, deputy community editor at the Economist. “There’s a universe of younger readers particularly in Asia and the U.S. that wouldn’t know to go to Economist.com, so we go to them.”
The content is in English and can be accessed from U.S., Canada, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, Korea, Hong Kong, UK, Cambodia, and Pakistan. Users need to follow The Economist. The publication will promote its account through its various social channels. It currently has 6.3 million likes on Facebook and 12.5 million followers on Twitter.
The Economist has gotten serious about distributing content on platforms in the past year. In July last year, the board decided to invest more heavily on social platforms, which included expanding its social media team. There are currently 10 people across editorial focused on content distribution on social platforms. The Economist was in the second batch of publishers signed up to Facebook Instant Articles in December, and is expected to go live in the next month. The publisher claims that now between a quarter and a third of its site traffic comes from social. There’s no hard and fast rule about whether the team repurposes a piece that was behind the paywall or not, but readers will face messages asking them to sign up if it is.
Publishers are exploring other messaging apps, Bild recently pushed out celebrity and sports updates through Facebook Messenger, the Guardian has been experimenting with WhatsApp. Success is hard to gauge because measuring engagement is a bane.
“There’s no publisher that has nailed dark social,” said Law. “We can add short links and tags to see whether they drive traffic. But this is very much a brand play, I am not too concerned about traffic. I want to build our reach rather than drive subscribers.”
While it’s brand building for now, establishing itself is a smart move for the future to deliver more than subscribers. “There’s a huge capacity for messaging apps to deliver business results,” said Tom Ollerton, marketing and innovation director at agency We Are Social. “They are complex digital ecosystems, you can buy a mortgage on WeChat and browse the Web from in the app. Once you can do that, what do you even need the Internet for?”
How Wired leveraged Cyber Week readers to increase subscription revenue
For Wired, Cyber Monday and Black Friday ended up being the second and third biggest days for subscription sign-ups of the year, with each being approximately three times the daily average for the month of November.
‘I don’t think people know just how big our digital business is’: 5 questions with Meredith’s Catherine Levene
Levene takes the lead of a division that Meredith says reaches 95% of U.S. women across its entire portfolio.
‘A hybrid of entertainment and commerce’: How NTWRK made over $100,000 from selling goods via Snapchat
NTWRK believes opinionated content about exclusive and scarce products associated with celebrity creators can turn viewers into buyers.
SponsoredWhy ad buyers (and sellers) need to pay more attention to viewer attention
By Yan Liu, CEO, TVision Like the proverbial tree falling in the forest, we all recognize that oftentimes the TV is on, but no one is in the room to hear or see it. And yet some ad buyers continue to rely on a metric that fails to account for this. To mix metaphors, buyers […]
‘Not something we think about’: Facebook News still a non-factor in publishers’ plans
Early attempts to measure the impact of Facebook News suggest that it typically accounts for a low, single-digit percentage of a story's traffic.
How Forbes’ 30 Under 30 franchise has become a top selling point for the brand
The 30 Under 30 franchise has given Forbes another avenue to sell its advertising clients on cross-platform campaigns for top dollar.