FL#176: NowThis innovations: Chatbots and Facebook Live

NowThis has been a pioneer in delivering video news exclusively on social platforms, and it grew quickly thanks to an ability to find new ways to reach young audiences. Now the company is pushing forward with technologies like chatbots and Facebook Live.

Reporting by Hailey Godburn

For more information:

  • NowThis did away with publishing content on its homepage in 2015. Instead, viewers can find videos on social platforms Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr and YouTube.
  • Aside from the main NowThis Facebook page, there are six other pages centered on niche topics: NowThis Entertainment, NowThis Politics, NowThis Her, NowThis Future, NowThis Booze and NowThis Weed.
  • The NowThis chatbot that offered videos, polls and information around the 2016 presidential election was available through Facebook Messenger on the NowThis Politics page.
  • In this previous Futures Lab update, NowThis Executive Producer Sarah Frank offered insights on what works best when delivering news on various social media platforms.
  • In February 2015, NowThis pulled the plug on its website, opting for its social-media-only publishing strategy. Almost a year later, NowThis had reached 1 billion video views on social media. Managing Editor Versha Sharma told journalism.co.uk that NowThis producers are “invested in how their video performs” and that “they are encouraged to build a relationship with the audience on the platform they’re working on. This includes not only reading the comments, messages and Twitter replies, but also regularly responding to them.”

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