Storify

Storify is media platform that lets the user create one story by integrating information from different social media platforms. A user can bring together relevant tweets, Facebook updates, Instagram and Pinterest photos, blogs, include their own information and structure it to tell one story.

It was co-founded by Xavier Damman and Burt Herman in December 2009 and acquired by Livefyre, a social media real-time aggregator for brands, in September 2013.

History

Both Xavier Damman and Burt Herman had previous publishing experience. Damman founded Tribal in 1999, a company that aggregated student news from all around Belgium and published it in a partner magazine. At its peak, it had a 30,000 student readership.

Herman worked for twelve years as an AP reporter and was embedded with the US marines in the Iraq war. He covered the Afghanistan war, Pakistan’s nuclear power project, the North Korean military, and the Tsunami.

Damman left Belgium with the vision for a service that published social news in the mainstream. Coincidently, Herman completed his Knight Fellowship in journalism at Stanford, wondering why news sites were so static and didn’t take advantage of social media to make them more dynamic. After meeting with Damman, who was also a developer, they co-founded Storify.

Application

A user creates a new account or logs in. They then search through several social media sites using the storify search engine for relevant updates to their story. Material (links, videos, photos, updates) can be dragged from the search results into a template on the storify editor. The user can add a narrative, style it, re-arrange the content, and publish the story.

An algorithm is used to go through the content of all the stories on the site and the best stories are published on the front page of storify. Alternatively, the user can embed their story in their website or blog. Storify helps the story go viral by allowing the creator notify people quoted in the story, increasing the probability that it gets shared through social networks.

The platform is known for its ease of use and low learning curve, allowing new publishers use the site and get a story out in a short time.
Its easy editing makes it a good tool for events and stories that are still developing. Publishers can utilize up-to-date tweets, for example, from people on the ground. Stories on memes, popular reaction to events, and even the weather (offered mainly by the weather channel), have found great success on the platform. Users can easily share their stories via social networking sites. Yahoo, Barcelona, Al Jazeera, CBC, Voice of America, the New York Post, and other professional news sites use storify. It has been crucial to news reporting for high profile stories including the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring.

Storify is free for most users. However, a premium VIP fee is collected from brands that seek deeper integration, customization, private use (for intra-enterprise use), search engine optimization, and PDF exports. Advertising may also be integrated into the site.

Criticism and Competition

Storify has been criticized for its ability to bypass privacy settings and allow users get access to private status updates, closed groups, publishing the name of the Facebook account, the update, the time stamp and other private user information. Since the curator cannot tell what updates are private, they may publish information that the profile user may not want published. Part of the problem, however, lies with the Facebook API and was reported as such.

Competitors include curated.by, keepstream, which was acquired by infochimps, Cover It Live, and scribblelive.com, streamhub (also a livefyre product).