Could Vine boost readership of traditional news?

Increasingly more journos have used Vine, some doing so to post behind-the-scenes glimpses into their newsroom, others to report news.

But USA Today has shared videos that not just spread their news, but draw attention to it in a surprisingly creative way.

January marked one year since USA Today joined the six-second video sharing app and started posting videos that featured glimpses of the paper’s headlines.

“When any new social platform launches, we’re eager to try it out and see if it’s a fit for USA Today. Vine gave us a unique opportunity to tell stories in a fast and colorful way,” said Mark W. Smith, USA Today’s Senior Manager of Social Media Marketing.

“Being on Vine is a way to be in front of people that we might not be in front of otherwise. There’s power in that, even if they aren’t clicking right from there to our website.”

Because their Vine followers are not clicking to USA Today’s website, Smith disagrees that the platform drives traffic.

He also says it does not get followers to read their paper, and that “Vine isn’t actually a traffic-driving platform at all.”

But Nick Westergaard, Chief Brand Strategist of Brand Driven Digital, felt differently when he ranked the paper among the most innovative brands on Vine.

“Beyond being a simple teaser, these glimpses may inspire you to go find a paper to get the rest of the story,” he wrote in the April post.

USA Today has pulled the plug on the original style and now uses stop-motion animation in their videos.

Westergaard praises the new look, but said USA Today’s tactic of featuring quick shots of the headlines could benefit publications on a tight budget.

“I know papers are strapped for time and resources, but this would literally take just a bit more than six seconds to put together with no special breath or anything,” he said, even noting that weekly papers could try it out.

Tom Brokaw echoed a similar theory of Westergaard’s about social media getting people to consume news traditionally. Read more here.

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