Livefyre may not yet be a household name, but it's certainly already a power player in the nascent content curation and digital engagement market.
The San Francisco-based company, which bought Storify for its content archiving services two years ago, earlier this month poured all that IP into its Engagement Cloud service and relaunched it as Storify 2.
Seven-year-old Livefyre has some impressive clients. It provides real-time content marketing management for a whopping 1,500 brands and media companies, including CBS, Cisco Systems, Conde Nast, Cox Media Group, CNN, Dow Jones/WSJ, Fedex, Hallmark, Intel, Mashable, Motorola, NASCAR, the PGA Tour and Universal Music Group.
Last year, Livefyre signed major partnerships and/or integrations with Adobe, Salesforce and Twitter.
Remember in 2011 when David Kirkpatrick wrote in Forbes: "Regardless of industry, your company is now a software company"? Well, Livefyre is doing its darndest to make sure every company, regardless of industry, becomes a media company. (Remember, you read that right here in eWEEK.)
'Citizen Journalism' Scary but a Fact of Life
The rise of the social Web and the preponderance of smartphones enable people to be their own publishers of news in real time. This rising trend of "citizen journalism," as dangerous as the term sounds, means that people have their heads down in their phones and are messaging, tweeting, posting photos, streaming video and constantly accessing media sites—often to the disdain of phoneless onlookers.
Professional journalists have seen this coming for years and remain worried about it. The continuous cycle of citizen-posted information poses a threat to professional publishers trying to retain the attention of their audiences. Publishers remain under increasing pressure to create timely, relevant content at scale, but resource and budget limitations offer little overhead for improvement.
It's hard to compete with freely available live content from the general public, whether or not it is vetted journalism; the vast majority of social network content is unvetted, and certainly not journalism.
That's where Livefyre comes in. This is a publishing platform that takes any type of content, enables editors to control content flows and mixes, and presents it in professional fashion. Whether the content is vetted for truth, of course, is up to the editor or publisher.
Twitter Archive Can Be a Useful Resource
Using Livefyre and a content engine such as Twitter, for example, editors can search entire historical archives of both to find relevant content for any type of story, whether it's breaking that very moment or it happened two years ago.
When Livefyre bought Storify in 2014, it allowed it to operate as it had previously until this new instantiation. Users were able to archive entire Tweetchats, articles and blogs, for example, in their Storify accounts.
Now that it has been integrated into the popular Livefyre platform, users now have both the archiving and fast story-publishing ability that they need to control their content and messaging.
"This is the first version of Storify that's been built into the Livefyre engagement platform," Jordan Kretchmer, founder and CEO of Livefyre, told eWEEK. "What this means is that you manage, edit and publish your stories right from the Livefyre dashboard, and you no longer will have Storify accounts."
The new platform, launched March 1, has "dozens of new features and is built around real-time collaboration for medium-size and larger newsrooms and brands," Kretchmer said.
Stories Can Be Created in Real Time
Like Google Docs, users can create a story in real time with other people in the newsroom or in the community management function, if you're a brand marketer.
"What this is really enabling is what we call 'content velocity,'" Kretchmer said. "It's the need for publishers and brands to produce more content than they ever have in history in order to stay relevant to their audience. We wanted to create a tool that enabled them to do that faster than they ever have, and with the least amount of barrier as possible."
To meet both immediate and long-term content needs, Storify 2 gives publishers the tools to repurpose the most relevant user-generated content to drive traffic, increase page views and extend readers' time on sites. The new capabilities of Storify 2 give editorial teams the best of both worlds: an easy, collaborative way to create their own narratives while weaving in social content from their audiences, Kretchmer said.
Storify 2's new user interface enables content creators to search, filter and publish social content from across the Web, or stream in real time for fast approval; drag and drop content from editorial teams and communities to craft authentic stories; build personalized narratives by adding text, photos and videos directly from the editor; and create micro-stories by grouping moments into shareable posts.
Collaborate Anytime, Anywhere
Using Storify 2, editors can update stories simultaneously, visualizing changes in real time; designate point people to review drafts, optimizing quality without sacrificing speed; empower field reporters to capture and post content instantly from mobile devices; and adapt narratives on the fly by reordering posts as the story unfolds.
Storify 2 keeps audiences on pages longer by immersing them in the story, Kretchmer said. The new Livefyre functionality uses Sidenotes to let communities voice opinions without distracting from the narrative; drives traffic back to owned sites with social sharing on individual posts; places attention on what's important by pinning content to the top of stories; and provides an at-a-glance view of key events so readers can dive into specific moments in time.
Finally, Storify 2 enables publishers to capture fleeting social content and store it for future use; create follow-up content by reusing user-generated content, giving readers new ways to engage; share resources across teams by tagging and organizing content as assets within a library; and repurpose user-generated content in new, dynamic visualizations to increase audience engagement.