1200-Thurs-062421-PR-BO-TwitterForNews Beyond 280-Characters-FINAL
8:39PM Jun 21, 2021
world press freedom
Hello, everybody, welcome to Twitter's session at RNA 21. We are so thrilled to be here with you today. We miss our RNA family so much. And we hope to see you all again soon. And we hope that you're all well and safe. Today we're here to talk about going beyond 280 characters. My name is Nikita Patel. And I oversee print and digital news partnerships at Twitter here in the US, my pronouns are she her, and I'm wearing a purple shirt because that's my favorite color. I'm also on our nice board of directors and chair of the online journalism awards. So hopefully you'll hear more about that later. I'm here with my co host today, Eric Zuckerman, who oversees broadcast news partnerships here in the US. You'll get to hear more from Eric shortly. So we have a great session lined up for you today, we're going to go through the 10 things that you need to know since we have been very busy at Twitter lately. We're gonna then talk about our long form content strategy, and then talk about spaces for newsrooms and journalists. So let's dive in. The first thing you need to know is about a brand new program that we just launched on World Press Freedom Day. It is called follow local journalists. Every single year on World Press Freedom Day, we Twitter always host some kind of global campaign where we're making sure that press freedom and conversations about journalism are top of mind. This year, we decided to use World Press Freedom Day as a springboard for our new initiative about local journalism. And a World Press Freedom Day. Our goal was to make sure that conversation about local journalists was top of mind. The reason we decided to come up with this program and launch it is because we firmly believe that local journalists deserve a national and a global spotlight. As part of this project, we launched a print campaign. Here you can see four page ad with a QR code that links to a Twitter list of local journalists around the country. We run these ads in 28 cities around the country across USA Today networks, newspapers, and mcclatchy newspapers. These ads are also accompanied by digital ads, which linked to each newsrooms Twitter list of their journalists also. Great news is that this whole campaign didn't drive a ton of conversation on Twitter, we saw conversation about wild Press Freedom Day and tweets, over 95% more year over year. Of all the conversation about World Press Freedom Day, we saw an increase of 40%. Going beyond conversation was the sentiment to we were helping to drive positive conversation. Positive to neutral conversation and sentiment about follow local journalists was 98%. And most importantly, the main intent of this campaign on this day was to drive followers to local journalists. On well Press Freedom Day, journalists saw an uptick of 38% new followers than an average day on Twitter. So what is follow local journalists all about? Soon, you'll see profiles of local journalists and newsrooms on media.twitter.com. We'll be sharing more Twitter lesson at mentioning local journalists on Twitter news. You'll see spaces where I plan to have spaces with local journalists and encourage them to do so also. We'll also continue the drumbeat of trainings that we do with local newsrooms and journalists, and of course industry events. One of the reasons why we're here today at RNA is to connect with all of you. And we'll be discussing follow local journalists and implementing various things and other key industry events throughout the year. The second thing that you need to know is about verification. This is everybody's favorite topic. Hopefully you all know that we opened up public verification a few weeks ago. So now anyone that wants to be verified, can apply in app themselves as long as they meet the guidelines. Don't fret if you don't have this in your app yet. This is rolling out slowly. So hopefully, you'll have this soon. If you haven't used this and apply and hit any bumps in the road, don't worry, then too, you can also reach out to your social teams, your audience teams, the chances are that they're in touch with us, and we can help to triage issues. The third thing to know is a project called bird watch that we recently launched. In terms of our misinformation roadmap. As you may know, we started actioning on content towards the US elections and COVID-19 when it comes to misinformation. Now with this new program with burdwan, we're taking a community driven approach to having users actually flag misleading content to us, for us to moderate.
The fourth thing you need to know is article prompts. Here, as you can see, we have a prompt when you go to retweet an article to ensure that you've actually read it before retweeting it. As a result of this prompt. We've seen an uptick of 33% of people actually reading an article before they smash that retweet button, which is huge. The fifth thing that you need to know is all about Twitter spaces. This might be my favorite new feature on Twitter. If you haven't used Twitter basics, yet, I highly encourage it. It is basically a tool where you can have live audio conversations. Everybody should hopefully have access to Twitter spaces in terms of hosting a space and joining a space as a listener and becoming a speaker, both on iOS and Android. Eric is actually going to be discussing different ways that newsrooms and journalists can use Twitter spaces, and having a great conversation with our guests shortly. But now I'm going to pass off to Eric to finish off the 10 things that you need to know.
Thanks so much Nikita. The sixth thing you need to know is Twitter blue. Twitter, blue is Twitter's first ever subscription offering, which gives power users access to premium features to help them customize their Twitter experience. So what are some of those features? The first one is undo tweet, does not edit tweet, it's undo tweet. If you ever typed a tweet, hit hit the tweet button and then immediately realized you had a typo. Or maybe you forgot to tag someone, or maybe you got the URL wrong. With undo tweet, you can set a customizable timer of up to 30 seconds to preview your tweet, click Undo and make changes to your tweet before it actually posts to your timeline and goes out to your followers. The second new feature is bookmark folders five years ago, if you wanted to come back to a tweet later, you would favorite then we changed phase two likes, we added bookmarks, but if you never cleared your bookmarks out, it just became a big infinite scroll. It's very hard to find an older bookmark. So the answer is bookmark folders, which lets you organize the tweets you've saved into folders so that when you need it, you can find it easily. And the third feature is reader mode reader mode provides a more beautiful reading experience for those long Twitter threads by turning them into a more seamless, easier to read format. These are just some of the new Twitter blue features we're currently testing now in Canada and Australia. Seventh thing you need to know is tip jar tip jar is a new way for people to give and receive support on Twitter by sending tips. Turning on tip jar adds an icon to your profile with links to external services such as PayPal Venmo, cash app, Patreon and bandcamp. All the payments happen off platform Twitter isn't involved and we take no cut. We're kicking this off with a few select creators, independent journalists and nonprofits. Right now brands businesses and media organizations are not yet eligible. The eighth thing you need to know is super follows. Super follows is a new monthly subscription model coming soon. That will help fans support and get closer to their favorite voices on Twitter. People who make them laugh or think or feel informed or inspired. Fans will be able to Super follow creators to get an extra level of access and conversation for a monthly fee. Number nine is review. Twitter recently acquired the company review review is a service that makes it free and easy for anyone to start and publish and monetize editorial newsletters. We know that Twitter is where writers and publishers have built their loyal audiences and we believe it's also where they can grow their readership to a much larger scale, and connect with readers more seamlessly than anywhere else. And soon, people will be able to subscribe to your newsletter right from your Twitter profile. The 10 things you need to know is scroll. That's another reason acquisition scroll is built away to read articles without the ads, pop ups and other clutter that get in the way, cleaning up the reading experience and giving people what they want just the content. Scroll is a subscription service that removes ads from participating news sites. Meanwhile, the publishers who work with scroll can actually bring in more revenue than they would from the traditional ads on a page because they get a portion of the subscription fee. You'll be hearing a lot more about scroll and review, which are part of Twitter's new, long form strategy right now. I'm gonna turn it back over to Nikita.
Thanks, Eric. Hi, everyone. I'm thrilled to host a conversation with my good friend Tony Hale. Tony, I'm so thrilled that you're now part of the flock. Welcome to Twitter. But is this your like, first month? How's everything going?
It's good. Yes, I'm one month and six days into my time as a tweet. And it's a it's been a hugely fun bustle. Tell us about a little bit about your background and your career. Sure. So I, I spent my 20s in various nefarious things from polar expeditions to run all your races, which is why I'm optic Tony. On Twitter, I had no idea. At that point in time, I would end up getting a chance to work within Twitter. Then I found myself in startups and became the founding CEO back in 2009, of a company called chartbeat that provides analytics to much of the major media companies. And then left chartbeat in 2016, to film scroll with crucial Dave and such in Doshi to try and solve the business model problem of journalism. And then one month in six days ago, scroll was acquired by Twitter. And now it
amazing. Another story behind your handle. Also, I'm a big top big fan, as well as many folks that that are part of the oh and a community.
It's 5050. So now that you're a Twitter, what does your role entail? So I have a
I love my role Twitter, because it centers me on prod. So I went in the product organization and Twitter, were always a little unusual in that I also still work across the kind of commercial side as well, working with partnerships, and other things. But the core of my role, as it was, as it was defined to me was, we have 200 million at the most knees obsessed people on the planet, go and work out how we can make them the best possible experience and have some fun journalism. So that's why
I love it. And so looking forward to working with you. So for those who might not be familiar with sprawl, can you give us a quick overview?
Sure. So scroll was designed to try and find a way where we could make a great customer experience and sustainable revenue kind of work together. So what happens is the when a scroll subscriber visits any of the participating sites, whether it's something like the Atlantic or USA Today or the Sacramento V, or Philadelphia Inquirer, slate, or Vox, whenever they visit any of these sites, the site recognizes that they're a scroll subscriber, and delivers an experience as if they were the only people that matter. So there's loads super fast, there are no ads, there's no dodgy trackers. There's no chump boxes of clickbait. It's just the experience that you want to get. So you can really engage in read. And whilst that's happening for subscriber, the publisher actually makes more money than they would have made from advertising. So it's a better experience for the customer. It's more money for the publisher. And it was designed to be a more sustainable future for journalism. Right. So then tell me what does Twitter plus scroll mean for publishers? So I think, like when I first when I first came through the job that I've been given here, Twitter, like, as I said, for some time to scale that model to take the model that we're able to prove over the last 18 months, where publishers were making significantly more money and subscribers were loving the experience and scale that across Twitter's like 200 million person audience. So that's one of the things you should expect to see. The other thing though, I think, is that it really does signal that Twitter is trying to forge a very different path than that Traditional platform, this is this is not something where we are trying to say we're going to create our own little tab, and we're going to create our own format. And please give us all your content. This is a very different approach. This is something that recognizes one, that we should have a transparent business model with how we work with publishers, and to the direct relationship between the audience. And the publisher is absolutely critical to a sustainable journalism ecosystem in the future. And so our job is to facilitate that not perfected. And that's what you see, with the approach of Twitter per scroll, all the action is still happening on the publisher site, they control the experience. And they get to be the one building a really strong relationship with the audience by delivering the most engaging possible experience. Okay,
so when you think about the evolution of Twitter from 140 characters to 280. And now going beyond that, how do you think about long form content strategy? So
when I think about long form strategy, I think about these are these two things this one is like, how do we improve the experience for for our customers consistently, and do so in a way that kind of sustainably funds deca, so this is a lot of what scholars focused on. And what the team is focused on generally, like that kind of sustainable way to deliver a great experience to support the ecosystem. But we're also trying to think about kind of what comes next, like I am, personally very motivated by, like the the problems that we have with around news deserts around the challenges that local news have been having. And last year was an absolutely brutal year for journalists being laid off. And so one of the other things that we're trying to work out is like, how do we make it easier for journalists, writers, creators, to create content to collaborate with each other, to find an audience and to get paid. And so things like, like, I'm super excited, we just, we just announced a partnership with currently, which is a collective of journalists, who are doing weather journalism in 16 cities. So I'm like super interested in how we can facilitate kind of new new forms of journalism, new structures for journalists, that will label them to kind of go into these news, does it provide the value that journalists does make good money doing? So those are the kind of two areas is like? How do we how do we kind of like support and create better experience in a way that sustainable for the existing ecosystem? And then how do we augment that by enabling kind of journalists, writers and creators to find, find the places that are currently underserved? And householders love it?
then on the flip side of that there, how do you envision the news consumption experience changing on Twitter for users?
Yeah, so I'm, in short, faster cleaner. They'll be there'll be fewer ads on the content they go. And they'll be able to do that in the comfort of knowing they're still funding the journalists and they can visit. But I think that's kind of that's obviously one of the core things that we will be working on. But I've talked about that a lot. I think one of the things that I get very excited about, is thinking about ways in which we can kind of build more trusted relationships between our customers on Twitter, and the publishers that we work with all that they see on Twitter, like, how do we like how do we signal to those to that audience, before they even click that they can trust this content more like, if we can build that relationship of trust, then I think a lot of other good stuff comes from that. So focusing on cleaning up that experience and making it faster, better, and then enabling trust, so that we can start to really kind of build that relationship between audience and publishers.
I couldn't agree more. So my final question for you, Tony, is, what is your favorite feature on Twitter? And why?
Oh, can I give you two? I get very excited about this kind of stuff. Um, so what is the big one, and it's not everyone yet. So I feel I feel bad about talking about this one, but it was part of Twitter blew the reading mode for threads. Oh my god. And like, it's just I didn't realize how transformative it would be as a reading experience, just to be able to kind of like hit that button and get this really clean view. It just made thread reading just a completely transformative experience for me. I didn't realize I was going to and it did, and I was so happy about that. So that's like, that's one of the big one. And then there's a little one that I think we just released recently in space, so I'm kind of a big fan of space. And the opportunities there. And one of the things that we recently released was, when you see a kind of friend in the audience or someone who you want to say hi to, you can just like tap on the picture. And you can send them a little kind of like, quick like two second little emoji and like have like a hand wave or, or something like that. And it just reminded me of the physical way in which we, which we interact when we're in a conference, or at least see someone we know across the road, there's a little kind of like head nod or something like that. Just be able to do that inside a space. And it kind of subtle, kind of like blink and you'll miss it way. For me, it was like a really thoughtful, powerful little feature that I thought. So those are my two right now. But if you ask me next week, there'll be like three of those. We're moving pretty fast.
We are. Oh, I love it. Thank you so much, Tony. That was great. And I love that feature too, in spaces. This was also insightful and really informative. Thanks for joining us today. My pleasure. Sure. And this is actually the perfect segue since you mentioned spaces for me to go ahead and pass the mic to Eric. Eric is going to kind of go through a bunch of use cases when it comes to how newsrooms and journalists are using spaces is also going to have conversation with some of our amazing guests as well. Over to you, Eric.
Thanks, Nikita. And thanks, Tony. That was a great conversation. So we told you one of the things that you needed to know today was Twitter spaces. I'm gonna spend a little time talking about some of the different formats that we're seeing newsrooms and journalists, leveraging with Twitter spaces. So the first one is just a one on one interview. Here's a great example recently from NPR. NPR is all things considered. Audie Cornish, interviewed the US Surgeon General over Twitter spaces that he answered questions all about vaccines and about the post pandemic life. And then all things considered recorded this conversation and actually used highlights and clips from it in there on the radio and in their podcast. Second ama's. So, Jim Cramer, host of CNBC is mad money. He was one of the first journalists he saw, jumped into a Twitter space and host an AMA. Jim was really open to talking about whatever was on anyone's mind. He went, say it was about an hour or maybe even two hours. Just listening to people chatting with people who want to talk to him about whatever was on their mind, it was a great experience. Another way you can use this is if you publish a new article, or a scoop, or drop a new podcast or a new show spaces is a great way to have a conversation about that story, or about that podcast or about that show. Here's an example where Mississippi today covered a story out of Jackson, Mississippi about water and the Huffington Post. Philip Lewis he hosted a conversation with some of the local reporters on the ground in Mississippi to talk through that story and discuss that story. Another example of this. CNBC another CNBC host, Carl conteneo, the evening before CNBC launched their new tech check show, all the hosts jumped onto Twitter spaces to chat through and answer questions from their viewers about what the show was going to be about was ever on their mind. Spaces also a great way for reporters to do dispatches from the field. And so during the Derrick Tobin trial, in Minneapolis, we saw lots of newsrooms, from Politico to NPR to USA Today, going live on Twitter spaces to talk about that story that was really captivating the nation. q&a is another great format for spaces. Here's another example from NPR. The day that President Biden was set to give his first joint address to Congress for the first time. NPR, his political team, posted a q&a with their audience so they could talk about the President's first 100 days in office and also what they expected to hear from him that night in his speech to Congress. Twitter spaces also great for building up a regular cadence. And a great example of that is the New York Times is Kara Swisher. She hosts a weekly show on Twitter spaces with her co host Casey Newton. They talk about the latest in technology and business and they they're go live now every Wednesday night and it's a can't miss show on Twitter spaces. Finally, Have fun with the format. And we've seen some news organizations including USA Today here. use Twitter spaces to host a trivia game with their listeners. It's a great, fun way to have an interaction with your audience and talk about the week's news. And now we're going to talk to Felicia and Matt are going to join us talk about how their newsrooms have been using Twitter spaces. Felicia Wellington radle is an engagement editor and occasional entertainment reporter and podcast host at USA Today. Matt Adams is an engagement editor at NPR. Matt previously worked at National Geographic as a photo editor and then later as a senior producer working on their photo community. Felicia, Matt, thanks so much for joining us. Thanks for having us. Yeah. Thanks for having us. Matt, I want to start with you. NPR is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Tell me how legacy broadcaster like NPR makes that evolution from terrestrial radio now to new internet formats like podcasting, and social audio platforms like Twitter spaces?
Yeah, I would say in all media, right now we're all trying to figure out how to have different forms of communication to talk with our audience. And how do we kind of break down that fourth wall and have a little bit more transparency, about how we're creating the stories we're making and how we can share that with our audience. So they can have like a better understanding of how story comes together, or what we're putting out there. And NPR just started as a radio broadcast 50 years ago, but now has transformed into podcasting. It's transformed into having a long standing Twitter account, Facebook Live. And we've also gone now into doing Twitter spaces in finding a different way to just communicate with our audience and just trying to find ways to get our journalists out there a little bit more so they can explain how they're covering stories and how they're focusing. The more of the conversation around how those stories are coming together.
Felicia, for the people watching this who haven't tried for the spaces out yet. What why Twitter spaces? What's the opportunity for a newsroom like usa today? What are your tips for getting started?
Um, so I'll take it in a couple of parts. Why Twitter spaces? I mean, I enjoy listening to like the spaces that I've heard. And there's an intimacy, I think, to Twitter spaces, when you're kind of forced to really listen to what people are saying there really isn't like a chat function. The emoji are great. It's a great form of engagement, but you're really listening to someone. And that's what what we try to talk about. That's what we we look for there. What voices do we want to be heard? What What do we want to elevate? What are the stories that are best told in this format? Obviously, we also have podcasts. And that's audio too. But there's something very live about that. It's you're in that moment in that conversation. That's a little bit different. And that's how we approach it. That's how we talk to the newsroom. What are the ones like? What are the conversations that we want to bring to this space tm, that would be most appropriate here? I don't know. Now, I'm rambling. But yeah.
What are your tips for someone who hasn't used it yet? What What would you advise them for how they could get their newsrooms started on Twitter spaces? For the
journalists who want to approach using spaces? Usually, you don't want to just use it because it exists. We, at least in our newsroom, when we talk about people who are interested in it, we talk about what kind of conversation you have, why is this the right format? Why would it be voice versus Anything else? And then we think about who exactly would be doing the talking? So we'll walk through that with them. We kind of call it scripting. It's not really anything hardcore like that. But it's more like, what are the topics? What exactly do we want to do? Who all do we want to have join us? Do we want to have take questions from the audience? Is that not that sort of engagement? Do we want to have straight q&a? It's kind of like all the examples you talked about? We walk through the different scenarios and say, Okay, if we have it here, what exactly does that look like? And then we just work it all out so that people feel comfortable. We also jump into a space usually and test it out, show everyone the different functions, how you can pin tweets, one of our favorite things about spaces, just like the different emoji, how people can engage how you can share space, I really like the new feature, how you can schedule it, and then share out the link so that we can get more people to know when it's like coming and, and be able to like set that reminder. So we usually we just kind of really walk walk through a lot of those basics. But even before that, even before scheduling, it's just like talking to them about the positives on holding space, and then thinking through exactly what that would mean.
Matt, how do you think about how does NPR think about using spaces as a tool to help build a community with your audience?
Yeah, we're thinking about a lot of the similar things that Felicia was just talking about. were wondering justice. Topic makes sense. Is this something that our audience will be interested in? And what will they get out of this? How will this serve our audience? will this help answer some questions they have? Will it help them guide them to some of the coverage we've done so we can learn a little bit more? Will it prepare them for a project we have coming up that we want to boost like a new podcast series or a new video series. And then when we're working on this, we're really I'm sitting down with journalists. And we're also scripting, but not writing out a full script, it's doing outlines. And we kind of do a walkthrough of how we'll present. I really look into doing like the intros and then like one or two questions, but I think the power of spaces is really in the audience conversation. So if possible, I try to move the q&a a little quicker, after we get through intros and go through a couple questions about like, whatever topic we're on, just to see what the audience has to say, to get them involved. And I think that's when it really picks up because it comes very natural. The questions you don't know what someone's gonna ask, which could be good or bad, but you also get a lot of different thoughts and opinions. And you get that perspective from the audience. And they also get a chance to talk to you when we have like Audie Cornish in there. These are people that he listen to everyday on the radio or they're fans of and then they also get a chance to talk to them, and just become part of the story in a way. And we found ways we've even had spaces start as a space conversation that have turned into a digital story. And we've interviewed some people from spaces. So it's offered us a chance to find some new sources as well and continue to learn different people's stories.
I mentioned earlier that both usa today and NPR have used weird spaces to cover the Derrick Tobin trial. How does spaces fit into your newsroom strategy to reach more diverse audiences on the platforms where they are? I'll start with you, Matt.
Yeah, so with a Derrick shovin trial, I thought something that NPR could take advantage of, for using spaces and words feature that might really help us is we work with a lot of different member stations across the country, and NPR, Minnesota Public Radio, we had a lot of reporters in the courtroom there. And they were the ones who are covering the community. They were the ones who will be there at the start, and then be at the end of and tell us how it continues. So I really wanted to get their perspective about what they were seeing from the start of the trial, what they were seeing daily, outside the courtroom, what they were seeing in communities when they were interviewing different people who live there. So I gave that an opportunity to build off of a weekly spaces talk that we are holding every Friday at the end of that week's court procedures. Where are a lot of our NPR journalists could pop into the space and answer some audience questions tell us what they're seeing, but and answer some questions from the audience about the trial. What's next? What might what might be coming up what we might hear from witnesses, and they were given a chance to get that perspective. Instead of asking someone who might not be there, or someone who wrote a couple stories, but isn't on the ground, we were able to actually tag team of a member station and get their perspective involved, which I think went really far. And we actually saw the numbers start to grow tenfold as we were having a weekly series, because people were getting used to it and they were seeing it every Friday, they knew we were going to launch this space. And they need to be there in the afternoon to then hear from some of these journalists.
Felicia, tell me about how USA Today used your spaces to cover the trial.
So we also had a number of journalists who were on the ground in Minneapolis, people from USA today and also from the network, photographers, etc. And they were getting sources there. They were speaking to people in the community. They were at George Boyd square, they were walking around, they actually ended up filming a documentary, during during the trial, before the trial after the verdict, etc. And so we held a very big space after the verdict had already happened. As they came back, we were thinking about the documentary we were like, almost as as Matt was saying, we just these were the journalists who were there they had stories to tell their sources had stories to tell. And I think it doesn't, it's worth noting that a lot of these journalists were journalists of color. We had a lot of black journalists, black videographers and photographers who were there. And you can't overlook some of the race based conversations that also were happening. I don't think class nation but in our newsrooms, and so it was like, let's elevate these voices, the conversations we're having internally, we should have publicly let's have it with everyone. Let's have. Have you talked about your experience and let people hear that. And we thought spaces would be the perfect opportunity, opportunity to not only allow them to talk about their experiences, but we were also able to pretty seamlessly bring on some of their sources who are willing to also join that conversation. A lot of the people he met who they had met in Minneapolis, we could have chosen other formats, but again, that intimacy via voice, their familiarity with Twitter, a lot of those conversations were already happening on Twitter, those feeds where people were coming in to converse about all the different social justice issues. Now we're having that conversation with as a major news organization. And I think it was one of the best things ever. I mean, almost to your earlier point, how you know, using it to get diverse audiences. I mean, I think I was one of the goals, one of the things that we saw here, you know, I'm an engagement editor, one of my focuses at USA Today is d AI, we're always looking for those opportunities to engage in that kind of diversity identity way. And we looked at how people are using these platforms, and if we are being a part of that conversation, because we ourselves are a part of these communities. So almost selfishly, like we want to engage with people who are like us, who are having the conversations we want to have. And this was the perfect space to them to have the conversation, and we definitely bought it.
In fact, USA Today's first ever Twitter space was another story about race. It was Oprah Winfrey's explosive interview with Prince Harry and Duchess Megan, talk about that story and why you thought that was a good fit for, for talking about through Twitter spaces.
Absolutely. So we have been wanting to experiment with spaces, but we wanted it to be the right fit, right? And so after that, we were like, well, there's already a lot of conversation about the toilets, but there were so many bombshells, especially those that are race based. And again, we're already writing a lot of that content, we're talking about race, identity, equity, etc. And also, you know, our entertainment, we have that royalty, and we were like, this might be the perfect opportunity. We have the experts in the room, people are already talking about it. Why don't we have a conversation and see how it goes and get to test out this tool. So, you know, part of it was the motivation to test a tool. But also we were like, what's the right conversation to have there? And we thought that there would be a lot to talk about coming off of what was said in that interview.
What are some of the other topics USA Today has covered and thought Twitter spaces was a good fit for?
One of my favorite ones is we did Oh, it's gonna sound so boring. But I assure you, it was awesome. We had a tax conversation. We basically brought on some tax experts. And so I know, selfishly, I was very pleased that we were able to bring on women and people of color and just really show that diversity. But they basically were like, Hey, what are your Tax Questions? I mean, coming off a year of pandemic, off of all the different stimulus checks, just a lot of people had questions. A lot of people were visiting our q&a, or sending in questions to our experts on our econ team. And we were like, why don't we just have a space we can get our sources get together? I mean, our texts, right? Like our econ writers are experts, too, and see what questions people have. It's like what Matt was talking about before, this is one of the best features people want to engage with us, this is another way to do so. and have it be like live. And in the moment, I appreciate, like the messy conversations. And so they were there. I mean, we went so long that it was kind of like let's cut it off, we can maybe have a part two. And it was just amazing that people really just had all these questions. And we were able to direct them to not only our previous coverage, but they were able to engage with our sources. Some of the other ones, we had a conversation about crypto and NF T's still don't understand. But we did it and it was very popular. And then we also have an ongoing series. So USA Today has a newsletter. This is America, which is about race and identity. And each week, it's a weekly newsletter. There are different essays from a variety of reporters and other people. And so we thought that it's, you know, the essays are so beautiful. The topics are just so timely and personal, that it would be great to hear more voices on those same topics. So instead of like a podcast or anything, which is still a viable platform, but we thought it might be a little bit more live and engaging to do that on spaces. So we also we've brought our This is America series based on the newsletter to spaces so so that those are some of the ones I said from the news, because you mentioned earlier that we've been having on Twitter spaces.
We saw some examples of mprs spaces. One that I thought was fascinating was NPR teamed up with frontline to cover the healthcare divide. How did that come about?
Yeah, so that was a project for a documentary film that we have produced with frontline, it was also going to be a digital story that we knew about. And I think as an engagement editor, we're always trying to think, what can we do beyond just sharing out links? What can we do beyond just sharing out a story? How do we share something that might connect with the audience that might get them interested in the story and might get them to click and read a story and then share with our friends? What more can we do beyond just sharing it out our social accounts. And so I thought this might make for a great Twitter spaces conversation. And what I love about spaces and we've been trying to work this out to is having a lot of people who are the sources and stories join us for the conversation so that our audience can hear from them directly hear their voice and then they can answer some questions that come in. And this gives us a chance to we're telling the people story who's involved in the documentary but also they are able to also tell their own story. It's not just coming through our video, it's they're on their phone on their own audio. And they're speaking and answering questions that are coming up. So we had had a few experts that were in the documentary and some sources, and then the director of the film and the producer in there as well for them to, you know, explain how they came about this film, how it was going to be turning to a little story of NPR and then just working with the frontline audience to let them know that we're doing this any NPR one, and then just let them know they have any questions about it. And we did it the night after it premiered. So people had a chance to watch it. Then we said, okay, you watch the documentary, now you have a chance to ask some questions and learn more about this topic you were about for profit hospitals, which I did not know much about, but learned a lot from the documentary and our audience seems to from the q&a to learn a lot as well. Everything that was involved in that documentary.
Yeah. Now, I've seen both of you, not only those spaces, but I see you pop up, you listen to a lot of spaces. So I'm curious. Start with Matt, what are some of your favorite spaces that you've joined? Just as a listener, not even an NPR hosted space, but when you've just joined and thought, Well, that was a great experience.
You know, I am in a lot of spaces, because I'm just fascinated by this. And I guess I'm using it as like research to kind of figure out what what other people are doing. But I also just, like, love to just see how other people are using it. Just use it for inspiration and see what's happening. I like the Kara Swisher one I am in that every week. I feel like she always has an interesting guest. There's a lot of great audience participation happens there too. And the conversations always seem to be very interesting. So that's what I'm there all the time. I am going to be honest, I loved when the Fast and Furious. They went for their trailer, because I no shame. I love those films. And I was like, this is interesting way the trailer dropped. And then you had a Twitter space right after the trailer dropped. You had all the actors in there. And I'm like, Oh, this is this is how you can do this. Because I feel like Twitter spaces involves these moments. And sometimes you see a moment like you watch a sporting event, you just see a trailer, there's an internet thing that happens. And then everybody wants to talk about it. And this is a way to quickly talk with your audience about it and have that connection. And I do want to give Felicia in USA Today a shout out I was in their News Quiz weekly once they did I wish I'd come up with that idea. Because I love it. I think it's a great one. And that was a What a cool way to really you know, get involved with your audience. But also ask them questions about stories you were covering in the news and see if they pick that up. And if not, they're learning about it. And then they can go read on your site, you're really like leaving your audience to go find more content that you're creating, which I think is great. So I love those as well. Thank you,
Felicia, what were some of the best spaces you've you've joined as a listener?
For sure, I've also liked the entertainment ones. I think there was another couple besides the Fast and Furious nine. With the F nine one. There were a couple of like trailer drops and then space immediately after. I'm definitely living for all those entertainment ones. I know like IGN has had a bunch of really interesting conversations around like some of the Marvel series, I listen to every single one Rotten Tomatoes, all of them join every single one. And then just also, I know that there have actually been some Twitter employees who holds like smaller spaces, perhaps they're testing but I've listened to great conversations regarding like, mental health, you know, being a manager and just a lot of them are just filled with advice that is from a different industry in a way but I find super usable. And I really enjoyed listening to those. And then just from fellow journalists, a lot of them talk about tech or, you know, work or you know, exhaustion etc. I, I guess all of them. I guess I like all the spaces guys like I just I've always finding something that just really speaks to me that I can jump into.
That's great. Let me ask one last question for each of you. What is your top tip? What's your number one tip for someone who hasn't used spaces, their newsroom hasn't used spaces yet, what's the one thing they should know? before they start posting explains.
I'll start Practice, practice how it's going to work. I, I have learned a lot that it helps to run I kind of run test rooms on my personal account. And I'll bring the journalists in there and I'll let them know how the rooms gonna look how it works. My selling point for journalists, though, when I work with them, I always say you don't have to do anything but just show up and talk. Like I'll run the room I'll run the tech aspect because I feel like when you pitch a new idea and something it's a new feature, people get worried about the lift that will take I will say there is a lift to get to the space. Because you do have to run through practice, do a tech practice, make sure you have an outline what you want to talk about, make sure your topic is solid. And then from there, it's just launching it then you're in the conversation and that everything flows from there. But if you're just starting out for the first time, I do recommend like practice, get that topic down and make sure everybody understands how it's gonna work that all your journalists are in a place of good internet connection that they have their headphones ready if they have tested their mic on to Twitter, that they can receive the direct message invite to get into the That's something else too. A lot of journalists might have their DNS turned off. This is all things I've learned from watching Spaces very early on. And then just taking a lot of notes and having documentation about, like, what's worked and what hasn't. And then just keep practicing from there. So that's things that we've been trying on our end.
Felicia, when that stole my answer, so I'll say something else, um, prepare, I guess that's practically the same. But the differentiator being that, you can just make sure you check some things in advance, aside from the ones that he mentioned, I really like to maybe pull aside the tweets that we want to share. While we're in this space, it makes it just a lot easier, if you can just click on it, open it, and then go ahead and share it to your space. You know, because he obviously said all the practice things, right. So also, I like to prepare to reset this space, we do a lot of that resetting the space, it goes something like, Hi, if you're just joining us, we're with so and so and so and so we're talking about XYZ, because as you have a lot of people join, you know, they sound like everyone shows up right away, they didn't buy tickets to your onstage show, they could come in and out at any time. And so, if you have all of that ready, if you know that you're gonna do it and prepare the intervals, you'll have that. We talked a little bit about scripting, which is super loose. It's like Matt said an outline. Just prepare that it can make you way more comfortable if you know which topics you want to hit, when you might want to ask audience questions, and just everything and then prepare by going through a test with everyone. Look at it with everyone. I think there's an important no matter how someone savvy someone is with Twitter or anything. If they aren't on like, the speaker side of it, they've never done it. Definitely just go through the motions of trying it out and testing it so that you get comfortable. And that's it.
Just those are really some great tips. Thank Thank you so much, Felicia Wellington riddle and Matt Adams. Thanks for joining us. We've got one more thing I want to point you to. If you go to media.twitter.com. That's your go to resource for journalists and publishers on Twitter. You can find great articles and best practices and case studies and how to guides for all the latest on Twitter. You can also follow us on Twitter, at Twitter news at Twitter media for the latest news and updates. And you can also sign up for our monthly product email@example.com slash subscribe. Thanks so much, everyone for joining us today. We'll see you on Twitter and on Twitter spaces.