OLD Media Moves

WSJ launches news product for Facebook

September 20, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

Jeff Bercovici of Forbes writes Tuesday about WSJ Social, which is a way to read The Wall Street Journal inside a social network such as Facebook.

Bercovici writes, “‘The fundamental idea of it is super simple,’ says Alisa Bowen, general manager of the WSJ Digital Network. ‘It’s about making [WSJ content] available where people are.’

“But it’s also about reimagining newspaper reading as an inherently social experience. Users choose whose streams they want to follow — the official ones produced by the paper’s, and each other’s — and that determines what stories they see. The most-followed users can compare their rankings on a leaderboard and earn prizes — possibly including their own WSJ-style stipple portraits. ‘It’s really about the users being elevated to editors,’ says Maya Baratz, the Journal’s head of new products.

“Whatever it’s about, it dovetails nicely with the strategic aims of Facebook itself, which sees content as a way to bring people to the site and keep them there, interacting with each other, buying stuff and getting served ads. At its conference for developers this week, called F8, Facebook is expected to unveil a new media-sharing platform built for that purpose. Meanwhile, as I reported in July, Facebook has invited a dozen or so news outlets (including CNN, the Washington Post and the Huffington Post) to produce so-called Facebook editions.”

“The Daily, which, like the Journal, is owned by News Corp., is among the publications working on one, but Bowen says WSJ Social arose independently. ‘This is totally a Wall Street Journal initiative,’ she says.”

Read more here.

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