The most recent stats could be, for news outfits, pretty grim: Americans spend 22.5 percent of their time online visiting social networks and blogs, and only 2.6 percent of their time learning about current events. And among the social sites, of course, none is more time-consuming than Facebook: In May alone, the site sucked up over 53 billion minutes of Americans’ time.
For media organizations, the takeaway is clear: “You can’t rely on users coming to you anymore,” says Maya Baratz, head of new products at the Wall Street Journal. With that in mind, today the Journal is launching a product that, it’s betting, will allow it to come to its users: WSJ Social, a Facebook application. Within the app, users have the ability to subscribe to different streams of content, curated both by fellow users and by the paper itself. (All Journal content that’s shared — or Liked — by a user within the app will also be pushed to that user’s main Facebook profile newsfeed.) The app creates, essentially, a publication that is personalized by way of selective social curation.
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