Tag Archives: internet

Malaysiakini makes the right move to Whatsapp


When I talk about news, content and social media, I have always meant platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and all that. I could just kick myself for never thinking about Whatsapp, the messaging app on our smart phones.

But Malaysiakini did!

The country’s first news portal has recently launched a beta version of a Whatsapp Broadcast Service where they send out breaking news, headlines, and news digests out to subscribers.

Brilliant idea!

At the end of 2014, Whatsapp had accumulated 600 million users worldwide, according to a report by AFP. And it is the most popular messaging app in Malaysia.

There are challenges of course. The most obvious at the moment is that sending out messages on Whatsapp has to be done manually and there is a limit to the number of members in a group.

When the subscribers start to accumulate, it’s going to be difficult to start managing everything. Unless, Whatsapp starts thinking about this and addresses it.

And… it’s owned by Facebook!

BBC’s 5 ways of addressing the importance of social media and mobile


Social media and mobile Internet can not be neglected or put on the back burner by any news organisation. And the BBC is one of the last who would want to do this.

The Beeb’s Chris Hamilton recently told Journalism.co.uk about five initiatives they have done to address the importance of social media and mobile.

1. BBC Shorts – 15-seconds videos that are meant to be shared on Instagram.

2. Go Figure – Simple image/graphics that tell a story, also meant to be shared.

3. BBC Trending – Not just reporting what is trending, but understanding why it is trending, etc (Astro AWANI has been doing this for several years now with their Kini Trending).

4. BBC Pop Up – A mobile news bureau that travels around crowdsourcing stories from locals.

5. @BBCElectionBot – Used during the recent UK General Elections. It’s shut down now but will be made available again when there is another election.

Read: 5 ways BBC experiments in the ‘hunt for new audiences’


Facebook’s Instant Articles seems cool… for the content consumer


Last Wednesday, Facebook launched their Instant Articles feature where they ‘collaborated’ with several news organisations (The New York Times, National Geographic, Buzz Feed, NBC News, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel Online and Bild) to publish their content on Facebook’s own platform.

This means that when you click on a link/story by any of these news organisations on your FB timeline, you won’t be directed to their platforms. Instead, it you will remain on FB and everything loads faster (almost instantaneously) without any delay or buffering. And this includes audio, video and photos.

As a consumer of content, it’s actually pretty cool. But for now, it only works on smartphones for the time being and not on desktops or laptops.

For the news organisations, it might not be as ideal as it sounds because they won’t be hosting the content on their own platform. Hence, they would lose a degree of control (ie: presentation, revenue, etc)

However, FB is offering advertisements. The news organisations can choose to embed and sell advertisements themselves or allow FB to do it. They would receive full revenue for the first option, but shared for the second.

There are also reports saying that these news organisations really have no choice but to participate in this project because FB is just too big to ignore. (Read this article from The New York Times: Facebook begins testing Instant Articles from news publishers)

Oh well… interesting times as always for content producers and consumers!!

BBC’s mobile journalism strategy


The BBC shared it’s mobile strategy in a short video. It’s quite interesting to see how they studied the Internet habits of different countries and regions and catered their test strategies based on those places. It goes to show that, aside from just good quality content, audience analysis also plays an important part of creating compelling content. [Click to image above to view the video]

How important is online video news content?


I’m a multimedia guy. I think every single media platform serves a purpose when it comes to telling a story. Text, video, audio and photos all play a part depending on the story.

And I just read an interesting article on Digiday.com about the Wall Street Journal’s online video efforts in contributing towards the whole organisation’s content plan.

They now have a team of 40 people producing 40 original videos a day for their website. And they get more than 6 million views a month and advertiser demand for videos is strong.

They also push their videos out on every available platform, from YouTube, AOL, Facebook, Vine, Twitter to even Apple TV. They aren’t fussy about it being only on their platform (as oppose to many traditional TV news organisations trying to go digital!).

So, if you’re a journalist are not too familiar with video, especially for the Internet, start thinking about it. Oh… and here’s a video by the BBC about producing compelling video news content. Real good stuff!