Social & Digital Coffee Break: Google tools, social media stats and free money

A round up of news you can use in your social media and digital publishing work. Just don't click on the last link, unless you want to despair of men.

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Reach for Readly

Reach’s newspapers on the Readly app

Readly, the bundled news and mags digital subscription service, has added four Reach newspapers to its offer: The Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Sunday Express and Sunday Mirror. A bunch of consumer mags are also (re)joining it: Country Life, Horse & Hound, Wallpaper and Decanter.

There's a lot of skepticism out there about this style of product, which includes Apple News, but they certainly have the potential to grow revenue, as long as you have a viable additive strategy — “this is a way of getting revenue from people who wouldn't be regular readers” — that has built into it ways of making your core target audience direct subsribers: what can you offer them that isn't just the content in the app?

I suspect that these products could be a slow-burn success over time — but there won't be a lot of winners, if any.

Mmmm…Social Media Stats

Lots of lovely crunchy goodness in a new global social media snapshot. I'm not going to attempt to summarise it here; if you need to know this level of data, dive in.

However, I do want to highlight this chart:

There won't be an awful lot of surprises for most of you reading this about the top end, but the bottom of the chart might be unexpected. It's interesting how (relatively) small Twitter use is, isn't it? It's below Pinterest, and only just above Quora. But I bet most people have a Twitter strategy, but not one for the other two sites…

Digital 2020: October Global Statshot — DataReportal – Global Digital Insights
<p>DataReportal offers hundreds of free reports packed with data, insights, and trends to help you make more informed decisions.</p>

Google Tools for Journalists

Google has launched its journalist studio, which is basically a front end for a couple of interesting tools:

  • The Common Knowledge Project — a (US-only) tool that builds charts from local data using the Data Commons, an open data project. Potentially very useful to local journalists. Let's hope they have something similar coming to the UK and other countries.  
  • Pinpoint this is the really interesting one right now. It allows you to use advanced search techniques across libraries of documents and audio you upload into the tool. It's using AI-powered tech, as well as doing text recognition and audio transcription. As a way of extracting stories from big sets of files, this could be invaluable.
Journalist Studio
A collection of tools to empower journalists to do their work more efficiently, creatively, and securely

My next two courses

I'm terrible at selling my own work, which is not good for my ability to feed my children… So, here goes. Two courses, starting at the beginning of next month, one well-established, and one brand-spanking new. Please do check them out:


Online content strategy for journalists
A four-week online course to help you navigate questions around timing, format and content styles in the digital age

Brand-spanking new

Creating compelling newsletters
This four-week online course will give you the tools to create your own engaging online newsletter

Want help building a membership scheme?

Looking to launch a membership model, but in need of advice and funding? Then I have good news for you: the Membership Puzzle Project has opened another round of the Membership in News Fund.

They are, in particular, looking for applications from these countries.

Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, India, and Myanmar. However, strong applications from other countries where MDIF works in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe are also eligible.

I know there are people from some of those countries reading, so get applying, folks…

The Membership in News Fund — The Membership Puzzle Project
The Membership in News Fund is now accepting applications from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.