To anybody keeping tabs on the rise of social media stars: You might want to put Vine celeb Cody Johns at the top of your list. The Florida native with more than 850,000 followers of his six-second videos will, appropriately, become the first entirely Vine-based reporter for the mobile news network NowThis News.
The year-old network, which has apps for both iOS and Android, will bring on Johns as one of their "VJs," or video journalists, to create original news segments. Johns tells Fast Company he'll be "seeking out the stories people want to hear." Based on the diverse slate of popular videos Johns has created on his personal account, what people "want to hear" includes bits of comedy, athletic showmanship, pop culture, and provocative questions about topical events.
Many mobile phone users already get their news from Twitter, and Johns says he thinks Vine is rapidly becoming the go-to place to get highly engaging video news. The team at NowThis News is likely to agree—they met Johns through the two-month-old agency Niche, which works to connect influential Internet personas with brands.
"People will follow a Twitter account to read a news update," Johns says. "Now they can watch a video that takes about as long to watch as it takes to read a tweet, but you also get someone talking to you right on your phone."
NowThis News already produces fairly short news segments that hover at a minute or less, but Vine's tight, six-second constraint will present the network with new challenges for how to effectively convey information, though editor-in-chief Ed O'Keefe sees them less as challenges than as opportunities.
"It's almost liberating to have just six seconds to tell the story," he says. "You have to be very innovative about the approach you want to take."
Vine also presents NowThis News with an opportunity
[Image courtesy of NowThis News]