A news media startup is looking to gain traction on TikTok and establish itself as the social-media site’s newsroom.
- Former BBC and News Corp. executives have formed The News Movement, a video news organization.
- The company is looking to acquire The Recount, a social media startup on TikTok that garnered millions of views but could not create revenue successfully.
- Media companies have used social-media sites in the past to build up their platforms successfully, but a media company has yet to do so on TikTok.
- Companies that have used social media to build their brand now struggle as sites like Facebook begin to decline—making investors hesitant to repeat past mistakes.
- However, The News Movement CEO Will Lewis thinks he can build a different media company.
- Rather than focusing on subscriptions or advertising, The News Movement is working to establish itself as a content studio and social media agency.
- Already Lewis and editor-in-chief Kamal Ahmed have raised $15 million.
Why it’s news
The News Movement differs from current media and news outlets as it aims to directly appeal to younger audiences, those that frequent TikTok. Lewis intends to translate recent news and world events into the familiar visual language used on TikTok, which is typical for younger audiences.
For example, Lewis plans to use the informal narrative style frequently used on the social-media platform and feature young hosts that speak directly to the camera.
“Sixty percent plus of GenZees get their news from social media, where the main players are either well-meaning amateurs who put misinformation into the system because they’re not professional journalists or bad actors who want to influence society in a negative way to their own ends,” Lewis says.
Lewis says the company looks to the 2024 U.S. election season as the company’s first crucial moment. The News Movement has already partnered with the Associated Press to produce videos. AP has also provided office space and helped build an editorial team.
The News Movement’s next step is to purchase The Recount, an existing news account. The Recount already has 350,000 Twitter followers and features quick clips and videos of political events. The Recount will be a separate brand under The News Movement.
Over three years, The Recount raised $31 million but could not find a way to make sufficient revenue to support the company. While the videos performed well on Twitter, advertisers were largely uninterested.
Backing up a bit
Teens and young people who frequent TikTok may find themselves exposed to harmful information masquerading as helpful tips.
An investigation from the reliability rating platform NewsGuard found that TikTok users searching for information about prominent news topics often find false or misleading information rather than helpful resources.
The video-sharing platform features videos about trending topics, however, the investigation revealed that approximately 20% of search results contained inaccurate information. TikTok’s current policies allow for misinformation videos to be removed.
TikTok is a popular social-media platform, especially among young people. Despite warnings not to believe everything on the Internet, viewers can often be influenced by information on the platform. The videos with inaccurate or misleading information ranged from the war in Russia and Ukraine to potentially dangerous home remedy solutions for COVID-19.