Offbeat

This subsection of the Need to Know newsletter offers news and ideas from unusual sources or other industries beyond journalism.

Facebook is trying to stop a decline in ‘original’ sharing, especially among younger users

Facebook is setting out to solve a fundamental problem on the social network, The Information reports: People are posting fewer things about their personal lives for their friends to see on Facebook. Facebook has dedicated a team in London to reverse the trend and develop a strategy to get people to share more. The Information […]

An argument from Slack for writing better app update release notes

As long as there has been software to update, there have been release notes, Slack’s Anna Pickard writes. Those notes have never had a large readership, but Pickard says it’s still important to Slack to make sure those notes are understandable for readers with as little jargon as possible and have something of value in […]

Why leaders should talk less and ask ‘why’ more

Dottie Mattison, CEO of online retailer Gracious Home New York, says leaders should be talking less, but asking why more often: “I talk a lot less than I used to. I still talk too much, and I work on this every single day. A mentor of mine once told me, ‘You stop at the first […]

The psychology behind how leaders effectively connect with their teams

Research shows that leaders connect with those they’re leading by quickly synchronizing their brain waves through high-quality conversations, Srini Pillay writes, putting leaders and teams on the same wavelength. Pillay outlines three ideas based in brain science that can help leaders connect with their teams: Leaders consciously decide to synchronize with their teams, they set […]

No changes are coming to Instagram’s feed just yet, but even if they do, there’s no reason to panic

You may have seen people you follow on Instagram asking their followers to sign up for post notifications, but NYT’s Daniel Victor writes that the panic around the possibility of an algorithm-based Instagram feed is likely unwarranted. No changes are coming for all users yet, and even if the feed does change, there probably isn’t […]

Snapchat’s latest update includes a redesign of its chat function, making it easier to understand

In an update released Tuesday, Snapchat made its chat function easier for users to navigate, but also made it look more similar to its competitors, Mike Murphy writes. Users now have more options in the chat area, including videos, stickers and voice calls. While some of those features are new, many existed in the previous […]

Bloggers are starting to worry about how an algorithm-based Instagram feed will affect their engagement

In the wake of the news that Instagram may soon move to an algorithm-based feed, bloggers are starting to get worried about how those changes would affect them. Fashion bloggers in particular began asking their followers on Instagram Monday to turn on post notifications for their Instagrams, so their posts will still be seen even […]

To compete with platforms that don’t always play fair, focus on what you’re offering to your audience that the platforms cannot

Both inside and outside of journalism, legacy organizations are increasingly having to compete with platforms that don’t always play fair. But rather than trying to call out the platforms or bring them down, Benjamin Edelman and Damien Geradin say that legacy organizations should be focusing on what they can offer to their audiences that the […]

Lessons on how to use audience data better, from outside the journalism industry

Nearly every industry is learning how to make better use of data, Yuyu Chen writes. Executives from General Mills, Tinder and Bain & Company shared their thinking around data at the Economist’s Marketing Unbound conference this week. Some ideas from the conference: Big data can inform ideas but it cannot create ideas, marketing should still […]

To compete with Periscope, Google may be building a live streaming app for YouTube

Google may be building a live streaming app called YouTube Connect, VentureBeat’s Ken Yeung reports. Expected to be available for both iOS and Android, YouTube Connect would be a direct competitor to Periscope and Facebook Live. YouTube Connect is expected to connect with a user’s existing Google and YouTube accounts, and include chat, tagging and […]