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An interview with CNN's head of social media on partnering with Facebook Messenger

As Facebook's earnings and number of users soar, it's never been more important for TV networks to find ways to reach and engage with audiences using the social platform. When Facebook recently announced more Messenger integrations, CNN was an early adopter.

CNN will allow Facebook users to interact with them on Messenger around breaking and and personalized news. The turner owned network has partnered with recommended content platform, Outbrain to enable this conversational interaction with bots. Found Remote spoke with CNN's head of social media Samantha Barry to learn more.

Found Remote: Why did you partner to work with Facebook Messenger?

Samantha Barry: CNN is invested in going where the audiences live. We understand that we need to live and exist in a number of social and messaging platforms for maximum exposure. Globally, more and more people are using messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger, to find and share news. That's why it makes sense for us to be one of the first publishers on Messenger. 900+ million people globally use Messenger every single month, and we want to deliver them the news.

FR: Why is it an important platform for news?

SB: Messaging platforms are important for news on a number of levels. They are immediate — people are quick to read and respond to messages they get through messaging apps — that's important when we're talking about breaking news and developing stories. They are intimate — that's why you'll see that we are using personal pronouns in Messenger like "I, you, me" because that's the language people use on these platforms. And they are personal — we're customizing the "Stories for You" results in Messenger based on the user's previous behavior and we're making it easier to share news with one person or a small group of people in the messaging space.

FR: Anything else?

SB: Last week on the night of CNN's Democratic Debate in Brooklyn, we decided to experiment with Messenger and send people live updates throughout the event. The results were fantastic and the messages had great engagement. It was as if the audience had a personal friend or "reporter on the ground" giving them play-by-play accounts of what was happening inside the auditorium in real-time.

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Natan Edelsburg

I help run the Shorty Awards (http://shortyawards.com) and Muck Rack (http://muckrack.com). I also watch a lot of TV and write about it occasionally. http://linkd.in/nedelsburg

All by Natan