Digital Publishing
2 mins read

Why publishers are turning to the atomisation of content

Atomisation of content takes stories and breaks them down into simpler formats and chunks, like a single image or tweet, which is easier to share and digest on mobile. It’s a trend in digital content, the unbundling of larger multimedia packages into bite-sized bits including single images, bits of text, videos, headlines and infographics, and it’s growing.

“The atomisation of content is gaining in popularity in media companies, with the objectives of virality and engagement in mind. Atomising creates smaller nuggets of information that can be shared, discussed and remixed with other content,” according to the Global Digital Media Trendbook 2015 executive summary by the WMNA.

Media companies atomise content to fit different audiences wants and needs on different platforms. Take for example, the content published by Hearst’s Cosmopolitan and Redbook magazine.

“Every time we create a story we consider the best ways to distribute it to our audience and each platform demands something different,” said Amy Odell, editor of and director of editorial strategy for

“For every piece of content we create, we have to ask ourselves: “What does this look like on the website? What does this look like on mobile? What does this look like on Snapchat Discover?” And of course there’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and the list goes on.”

For example, if they’re shooting video for their food channel, Cosmo Bites, they’ll make sure the video has a square crop and is viewable without sound for Facebook.

“We’ll run the square crop in Instagram as a video as well. We’ll make it a vertical crop for Snapchat Discover,” Odell explained. “We’ll run the recipe on the site and include a graphic designed to be pinned that teases the recipe, and we will link back to the site wherever we’re pushing out the video.”

Readers just want great content, Odell says, adding that the Cosmopolitan and Redbook editorial teams publish hundreds of posts each day on their respective websites, as well as social platforms Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Discover, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.

“I think they’re just looking for great content that engages them on the platform they like to spend time on,” she said. “Our goal is to always create the best content we can for all of our channels (and those channels only seem to be increasingly diversifying) and adapting when those platforms introduce new features.”

Odell adds that not every piece of content goes on every platform. Instead, certain subjects are better suited certain platforms like Instagram or Facebook. “Both Cosmo and Redbook embrace a mobile-forward strategy as most of our readers like to consume social media on their phones and a large portion of our audience engages with us via social media,” she said. “We have to make sure that everything we do looks stunning on a cell phone in addition to desktop.”

Read more at FIPP

Our thanks to FIPP for abridged article above.