All the news that’s fit to Instagram

Stop the presses: It's a vegan steak.


Chase Hoffberger

Internet Culture

Published Aug 1, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 10:15 am CDT

Thanks to one New York City startup, you can finally get your news in 15-second frames. 

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The company’s called NowThis News, it’s acquired 1,300 followers since its September introduction, and its business consists of disseminating news in a quick and succinct format. Its reports, published on Instagram Video, offer bare-bones, headline-style wire readings that offer all of a story’s primary facts and none of its usually necessary context.

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Take NowThis’ most recent report, for example, an item on a tenured African president.

“Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe has been described as a monster,” explains one of the company’s supposed anchors. “You could also describe him as someone with interesting fashion sense. He’s particularly fond of garish prince and portraits of himself. Gotta say, guy’s got swagger.”

Boom. There you go. Get out and throw yourself into a dinner party conversation about the authoritarian leader this weekend.

There’s also this audio-aided clip about pop star Robin Thicke‘s new album Blurred Lines, which offers snippets of every track of the album in one 15-second frame. 

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“It’s news in your pocket,” Ed O’Keefe. editor in chief, told Business Insider this week. “Wherever you go, whatever you need, NowThis News is going to be on a platform you’re using. It’s an entirely new way to watch and experience news.”

Maybe so, but it’s not exactly a complete report. Fifteen second hardly gives anybody the chance to be definitive, and in this day and age of endless information, it’s more likely that NowThis’ news reports will offer about the same amount of context as two tweets—two tweets that don’t require that you find a quiet room where you can turn on the audio. 

Plus, the company might have some issues to work out in regards to considering what it deems breaking news. Its second most recent item, published Wednesday evening, comes from the Superba Snack Bar in Venice, Calif., and looks awfully like the rest of Instagram.

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Stop the presses: It’s a vegan steak.

Photo via NowThis News/Instagram

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*First Published: Aug 1, 2013, 10:47 am CDT