So far, TicToc, which Bloomberg is billing as the "first and only global news network streaming LIVE on Twitter, 24/7," is ... an odd bird. It launched this morning—you can "tune in," so to speak, by following @tictoc—and, well, before I tell you what I think of it, let's check in with the Twittersphere for some preliminary reactions:
First thoughts on #tictocnews: Too many voice overs and still photos. Needs more engaging video.— Devyn Barrie (@DevynBarrieNews) December 18, 2017
Need better placement of the actual live stream. Mine is at the very bottom of my discover feed. Also, am I wrong in having thought there would be multiple live feeds for different interests via #tictocnews? $twtr— Dennis Kalinin, CFP® (@AIAH110111) December 18, 2017
I like the look of tictoc - instant news #tictocnews— Frank Coulter (@Coulter1Frank) December 18, 2017
this feels like a reality tv show #tictocnews— Frank (@frank0white) December 18, 2017
A reaction from someone who's noticed that TicToc has been live-streaming extensively from Britain's House of Commons:
Why so much coverage about this tiny and increasingly irrelevant island off the coast of Europe?— Frank Phillips--Author of forthcoming books (@NorSweDenLLC) December 18, 2017
Best case scenario for @tictoc is that people open a tab and leave it on in the background. If that's the case, why not invest in a much cheaper 24 hour a day radio/audio network?— Noah Chestnut (@noahchestnut) December 11, 2017
Looks like this will be a useful "Go-to" for developing news stories of International significance... I welcome this initiative; best enjoyed by those who have good access to fast broadband Internet #tictocnews— PC (@p_kiwi) December 18, 2017
And a tweet from a Bloomberg insider—Bloomberg Pursuits Editor Chris Rovzar—who puts TicToc's continuing coverage of an Amtrak train derailment in Washington State in context:
As for my reaction (in 280 characters or less), here goes:
A lot like Bloomerg's @business w/live video thrown in, and similarly global-minded, but more general vs. business-y. Confused how this is useful to people who follow news orgs and think of Twitter *itself* as already being a "global news network streaming LIVE on Twitter, 24/7."
So why are Bloomberg and Twitter doing this? Well, Twitter, which needs to keep battling its reputation for being a hotbed of fake news, benefits by aligning itself with a respected global journalistic organization. And Bloomberg benefits by having a social-first news brand that leverages out of the existing Bloomberg global news-gathering operation. It's worth noting that in the run-up to the launch, Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith tweeted a link to Wall Street Journal coverage with a headline saying that Bloomberg "aims to take on CNN" with this effort:
Excited for the launch of @tictoc by Bloomberg going live tomorrow, Monday at 8am ET. More about @bbgmedia's partnership with @twitter via @WSJ @lalpert1: https://t.co/lmy0DqxG2B - cc: @anthonynoto. Make sure to tune-in for #TicTocNews— Justin B. Smith (@Justin_B_Smith) December 18, 2017
As Smith put it to the WSJ:
We have been looking really closely at how one replaces or disrupts a traditional TV news outlet like CNN. We see the answer as an amalgamation of digital, social and television. The essential inspiration for this is Twitter itself.