Media companies increasingly want to publish their articles, videos and graphics directly to social networks and mobile apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Call it modern syndication.
Facebook, for instance, is talking with media companies about publishing articles within the social network. A prototype involving content from The New York Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic and possibly other publishers is expected soon. Already, publishers new and old are putting videos on Facebook, images on Instagram and screenshots from their text articles on Twitter.
To determine how best to carry out this social and mobile syndication strategy, publishers are looking to hire a "platform editor." The New York Times is on the hunt for one who will be, according to its job listing, "a journalist, a technophile, a creative thinker and an evangelist … The person in this role will be expected to oversee projects that shape the way our news report is published on all platforms."
The Atlantic Media's digital-only business site Quartz just hired a platforms editor.
"This already is and will seemingly become an even bigger part of what we do," said Zach Seward, Quartz's executive editor and VP-product. "It seems only natural to have people focused on thinking about what partnerships make sense, measuring them as we do them so that we can kill things quickly if we feel like they're not working, and add others based on previous ventures."
BuzzFeed already has an entire 10-person department, called BFF, dedicated to the task.
"We're very much in an experimental phase," said Summer Anne Burton, who runs BFF. "What we're trying to do is get to that feedback loop where we experiment, get data and then iterate. Achieving that workflow is our first mission."