ABC announced that starting today they will be producing a strictly social media version of World News Tonight. The Newscast is named Facecast: “The One Thing” and will be anchored by David Muir. The newscast will be original content, separate from what airs on TV. The idea is an attempt to attract mobile viewers, and to keep up with viewer’s busy lifestyles. ABC feels that people live more busy lifestyles, and they often consume content on the fly.
ABC began to explore this idea, when they realized that posts on the program’s Facebook page that contained video, get 7 times as many views as those that don’t. The new program will have 1-minute long news summaries, and feature 3 or 4 topics of interest. These topics may be picked by the news team themselves, or viewers will also have the opportunity to shape the programming via comments and story ideas. The news anchors feel that there is a ton of extra footage and photos that are rather interesting, but can not be put to use in a short 22-minute newscast. Housing the newscast on Facebook also allows users to continue the conversation way beyond when the newscast ends.
One news anchor mentions, “The nightly news is not a one-way street anymore. I Tweet during commercial breaks.” Could we be headed to a new era of news, where content will be dictated by the viewers? It seems that with social media, business and entertainment are becoming more consumer-driven, and companies will have to follow suit to keep up. Social media gives viewers/users the opportunity to dictate the content that they consume based on their personal interests. It seems to me that if this becomes the norm, all stations would be forced to do the same. Otherwise, their content may be deemed not interesting or irrelevant, leading to them losing both viewers and revenue.