How AddThis Fits into The Future of Journalism

Marc Andreessen––a early pioneer of the Internet as the co-author of the first graphical web browser and co-founder of Netscape––wrote a series of tweets that culminated in a blog post explaining how he sees journalism changing, and how Internet technologies are going to facilitate the news media growing ten to one hundred times what it is today.


In it, Andreessen says how the news business should change how it’s run to expand its reach. As part of that trend, analytics and content engagement tools like AddThis are a key in the shift in where, how, and when we consume news.

AddThis for Journalists

Modern news media is driven as much by personalities as by publications, and many journalists and news personalities are leaving traditional publications to go out on their own. And for many journalists, they blog in their free time to they don’t have additional time to spend on driving engagement. AddThis tools, such as the Follow bar and Recommended Content Tools, do that work for them by driving content engagement across domains. Any publisher with our tools can see how their site’s performing using our analytics. And with AddThis Pro, they can promote stories they find important, hot, or relevant.

AddThis for News Sites

With our widely connected world, there’s no shortage of news to report, and news sites are having a harder time gaining visibility. That’s why it’s going to become increasingly important to know what readers find popular/interesting, and AddThis analytics can tell be part of the feedback loop.

The growth of news aggregators and social media sites, however, are demonstrating that a simple Facebook Like, Twitter Tweet, and Google+ button next to an article won’t be enough. That’s why AddThis tools are personalized; that means they will show each site visitor the social networks they’d want to share to. Think about it: if you’re a big Redditor, and as you’re reading an article you like, you see a big Reddit button beside it, most likely, you’ll click on it to share. But if you only see Facebook and Twitter, you might decide not to share at all.

In addition, there isn’t a ton of third-party assets loaded with each button, but because the assets loaded are used across the web and likely in the user’s cache, load times will be faster.

AddThis for News Aggregators

One key innovation that will drive the increase in news consumption is news aggregators. Andreessen says that news in the future will be like a massive Twitter stream, and news aggregators will power this. Content-specific aggregators already exists, and I believe they’ll become more prevalent. The ability for an aggregator that, for instance, specializes in news about the real estate industry to get on as many sites as possible––even ones that aren’t about real estate––is very important. By supporting the OExchange Standard AddThis provides an easy way for news aggregators to quickly get their services in front of over a billion users every month.

Despite all the doom and gloom that people have said about the news industry, great things are ahead for journalism, and AddThis will be there to help!