The rise of social-first publishers

A new category of publishers has arrived: “social-first” publishers or “distributed” publishers. These content creators, like Tasty, NowThis, and Gamology are changing the scope of publishing. They create content designed for, and exclusively distributed on, social media. With a mix of creativity and foresight they are reshaping traditional media.

Last year, 62% of adults got their news from social media, pointing to the importance and effectiveness of content (including advertising content) created for social. As content creators look to craft future social strategies, they should understand the factors that have led to social creators’ success.

The key to understanding content creation in the digital age lies in grasping the intricacies of social platforms. What may work on Twitter won’t work on Snapchat. Unlike traditional methods, social-first publishers have had the foresight to design their content specifically for whichever platform they’re targeting. Contrarily, brands who modify their existing content to social rather than create content with social in mind will not have the same levels of success.

For example, there are some clear differences between content that performs well on Facebook versus Instagram and YouTube. With Facebook, it’s important to use subtitles in your social videos or you’ll lose your audience within a few seconds; Instagram is perfect for creative short stories; and YouTube should be used for long form videos.

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