How does the Huffington Post use alternative mobile apps to tell stories? Facebook.

Multimedia storytelling. As journalists we’ve come to learn that this means telling your story on every platform possible. No longer are the days of print only. Now you can find the same story from the same “publication” on each one of its platforms. Different methods of telling the story ensure a larger possibility that the story will be seen and shared. Social media and mobile sharing apps have become a tool for journalists to share stories quickly and easily in several different formats.

The Huffington Post utilizes their social media in a variety of ways.

I’ve noticed when it comes to storytelling geared towards mobile devices the Huffington Post relies more heavily on it’s Facebook pages.

The Huffington Post’s Facebook page offers plenty of news articles that are also published to its main website, however mixed into the articles are listicles, Facebook Live events, and 360 videos.

These “more fun” types of sharing are more friendly to users on mobile devices.

The average user is more likely to click on these listicles because they can get through them quickly and understand the crux of the story. Personally I love listicles when I am just browsing social media to pass time. I typically associate listicles with Buzzfeed, so seeing listicles from Huffington Post was interesting. Several reminded me of the Buzzfeed-esque style of article, such as one titled “20 Billy Eichner Tweets That Made Your Newsfeed More bearable in 2017,” but they were not always lighthearted like I expected. Including one I saw titled “14 Things To Know If You Love Somebody With Anxiety”.

The Huffington Post uses Facebook Live to cover news worthy events for their followers. Advertisements for Facebook Live events can be seen on their Facebook page easily. When I checked the HuffPost Facebook I could see an ad for the upcoming event called “Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU” taking place on Friday March 31 at 7pm.

The Huffington Post also uses Facebook Live to produce weekly livestreams. One such livestream is called “Getting Through the F**king Week” where interviews and chats are done live on Facebook. These live interviews allow the audience to ask questions and contribute to the video as it is occurring. These posts usually stream live from the accounts of writers and editors at The Huffington Post and then shared.

The Huffington Post also uses 360 degree images/video on Facebook to show their followers interesting places around the world, in most cases via another app called Ryot. These 360 views can be accompanied by an article with details about the images.

One 360 degree image was of Aleppo, with an article sharing the difficulties faced by refugees.

Overall I think that The Huffington Post makes a fair attempt at branching into alternative storytelling apps. The use of listicles only made me want to check new articles on Buzzfeed. The Huffington Post’s use of Facebook Live is good, sharing live updates from stories around the world, (the live coverage from the women’s march was very interesting to watch) but still The Huffington Post would not be my go-to mobile news source. The 360 degree views were also nice but most were confusing to look at and the image changed while still pointed in the same direction, making me not want to look at the image for very long. I was also  surprised that the The Huffington Post does not have a featured page on Snapchat.


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