Try This at Home

This subsection of the Need to Know newsletter offers useful insights and ideas you can try yourself.

How to get your audience talking to you on social media: Use visuals and respond to your readers

Social media platforms are a natural place for publishers to interact with their readers, but it can be challenging to get those readers to start talking in a meaningful way. Poynter’s Vicki Krueger outlines tips for motivating readers to start sharing with you on social media, including: Use a visual in your post, ask a […]

7 ideas for how publishers can deal with ad blockers

At an event in late April, publishers, platforms and other industry groups gathered at an event in NYC hosted by PageFair and Digital Content Next to talk about ad blocking. The participants, which included ESPN, Google and The Guardian, are now sharing their recommendations for how publishers can better deal with ad blockers. Among their […]

85 percent of Facebook videos are watched without sound

According to data from publishers, about 85 percent of video on Facebook is watched without sound. Facebook has built a video system that encourages watching without sound: Videos autoplay in the new feed and are muted by default. But for publishers, that number underscores the importance of creating videos that can be understood without sound, […]

How are people using Facebook Reactions on publisher pages?

Facebook Reactions allow readers to add “reactions” to Facebook posts beyond just a like or a comment. NewsWhip takes a look at how people are using Reactions on 20 publishers’ pages, finding that the use of Reactions is relatively low compared to likes/shares. In NewsWhip’s data, Reactions typically accounted for between 10 and 15 percent […]

A guide for journalists on how to use Snapchat

Paul Bradshaw has compiled a comprehensive, useful guide for journalists on how they can use Snapchat for storytelling and effective engagement. In this installment, Bradshaw explains topics such as the various uses of Snapchat (chat app vs. stories vs. Discover), what kinds of stories are suited to a Snapchat “story,” and how to do an […]

The New York Times’ lessons from Facebook Live: Videos don’t need to be tied to a newspaper story and success isn’t necessarily determined by the number of viewers

The New York Times has been broadcasting on Facebook Live for a month now. With a team of six staffers dedicated to Facebook Live, it’s streamed things like a wedding from its Weddings section, an interview with Caitlyn Jenner and a walking tour in Havana. Louise Story, who is leading NYT’s Facebook Live team, shares […]

Some publishers are partnering to sell ads based on time, tackling the bigger problem of ad viewability

To take on the issue of ad viewability, some publishers are partnering to sell ads based on time, rather than click-through rates: Advertisers are only charged if the ad catches the reader’s attention. However, measuring attention comes with its own challenges. These 20 publishers, which include the Financial Times and Dow Jones, regularly participate in […]

A guide for small publishers on how to get started on Facebook Instant Articles

As Joe Amditis sets up Facebook Instant Articles for his news startup Muckgers, he’s creating tutorials and walkthroughs to help other small publishers through the somewhat “tedious” and “buggy” transition process. To help on the HTML end, Amditis says he will be writing chunks of HTML that can be cut-and-pasted into the article source code, […]

A tool called MapHub helps easily create interactive maps

MapHub is a free, online tool that can help create interactive maps to accompany stories. Users can import their own data into MapHub, or search by location. MapHub also includes text labels, the ability to add multiple points of interest, and including routes between locations on the map.’s Mădălina Ciobanu outlines how to use […]

How Wired is helping other publishers make the move to HTTPS

Researchers have called for years for news publishers to make the switch to HTTPS, a more secure, encrypted alternative to HTTP. While some smaller publishers have made the switch, it’s more complicated for a big publishers such as Wired with content going back decades. As Wired starts the switch, it’s trying to help other publishers […]