Local Facebook groups have supplanted local newspapers as the default source of information in many British towns, according to a report into so-called “news deserts”. Instead, people are turning to Facebook Groups for news. In one example, the town of Trowbridge in Wiltshire has 44,000 residents – and more than 30,000 of them are in a single Facebook group.
There are pros and cons to this – Groups can end up being toxic and racist if they aren’t closely moderated. But I personally have increasingly found myself relying on my local FB Group (21k members) for local events, traffic updates, business recommendations and pretty much everything local newspapers used to cover.
We had an interesting chat on Twitter with Manchester Mill’s Joshi Herrman about the possible implications of this. He pointed out that even if this is the role Facebook Groups are playing, there are still big gaps local news outlets can fill – if they’re smart about it. “It’s why we should focus on the bits social media doesn’t do well – great writing, proper analysis, sustained digging – not re-writing police press releases,” he noted.
Getting a user to register is far easier than getting a user to pay—users shown a registration offer have a 1.69% median conversion rate, vs. 0.26% for a paid subscription offer. The good news is that registered users are more likely to become subscribers. But it can take some time for them to convert.
The FT has launched a new app that will allow users to discover, save and share FT content all within the Teams environment. An estimated 60% of organisations that subscribe to the FT also use Microsoft Teams. They claim to be the first news publisher to do anything like this – it’s an unusual move, but one that makes sense if they’re hoping to attract and retain more organisation-level subs.
How does a creator assess whether they’re on a trajectory for success, especially when early growth seems so slow? Some great ideas here for creating a framework to set goals and measure success. Timely too as it can sometimes feel really tough growing an audience here at MV towers.
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