For this week’s blog post we interviewed Gabriela Campbell, co-founder of an all-Spanish news media company, Ac2ality. We dive into the work of Ac2ality to gain some insights of the company and understand Gabriela’s perspectives on the future of news.
We would like to also mention that Gabriela is one of the speakers at our exclusive Digital Growth Summit event in Brussels on September 26th, 2023. The tickets are limited and is almost sold out, so we hope you can join us and get your tickets by clicking this link.
News publications within the social media sphere
Before diving into Ac2ality itself, let’s take a look into the social media landscape of news publications. Reuters reported that ‘over 80% of leading publishers in Spain, France and the UK operate active accounts on TikTok’. Furthermore, ‘20% of 18-24 year olds use TikTok to learn about current events’. It is clear that efforts are being made to use social media platforms as a primary means of news distribution. The younger generation increasingly relies on social media for staying informed about global events.
Le Parisien, both a regional and a national newspaper, has also been making strides on TikTok. With goals to be recognised as more than just a print newspaper, the French publisher started from 0 followers in 2022, and now has amassed more than 660,000 followers and 17 million likes.
How one of the biggest news accounts on TikTok was born
Both the co-founders Gabriela Campbell and Daniela McArena were living in London when Brexit happened. They both wanted to be informed of what is happening, but they had to read many articles only to just begin understanding. Essentially, they wanted a simple and easy way to understand and consume news without getting lost in a rabbit hole of information.
Thus, the idea of creating accessible news summaries was born. At first they started on Instagram with a format called ‘5 things about today’ (5 headlines from the news); then they migrated to TikTok after realising the potential it has for high organic growth (2020).
📱 ‘The social network reaches 44% of 18–24s across markets and 20% for news.’ – Reuters Insitute
And they were correct as Ac2ality became an overnight success. Gabriela recalls ending the day with 700 followers and waking up to 40,000. This is also due to the fact that there were barely any Spanish news accounts on TikTok. So it turns out many others were experiencing the same issue, and Ac2ality managed to find a simple yet entertaining way to educate the masses on pressing matters.
There were no Spanish [news] accounts so I think that’s why we got a lot of attention very quickly. To the point where I went to sleep with 700 followers and woke up to 40,000.Gabriela Campbell
How does the ac2ality bring value to its audience?
To answer this question, it is simply transforming news into short, video summaries on social media, mainly on TikTok. The audiences can easily learn about news without having to go through multiple sources. What Ac2ality does is take the piece of news they are covering, and turn them into bitesize, easy to digest 1 min video summaries.
And because the target audience are between the ages of 18 – 24 (with a notable audience size of 13-14 year olds), it is a testament to the young generation’s desires for keeping up with the news. And since these age groups spends most of their time online, particularly social media, Ac2ality brings value by providing news to exactly where their audiences are, and as objectively as possible.
What is the process of curating the content?
- World impacting occurrences such as Brexit, the war in Ukraine, etc, are crucial to be summarised and posted on their platform;
- Taking multiple newspapers with different ideologies and select the recurring topics that are prevalent in all of them;
- Then finally, viral news. These aren’t particularly important nor useful, but are amusing and light, usually involving funny memes.
How is Ac2ality impacting the future of news?
There is a saying in Spain, to ‘adapt or die’. Not taking it in the literal gloomy sense, this is the mindset Ac2ality embodies. They believe Ac2ality helps to give the young generation a platform and a voice. Knowing this, Ac2ality are equipped with a prime position to have a significant impact on the future of the news industry.
What the future of Ac2ality might look like
Gabriela states that Ac2ality will continue to stay active on social media to reach the younger generation. They aim to maintain their growing presence on TikTok; however, due to competition, slower growth, and policy concerns, they plan to expand to Twitch and YouTube.
Twitch is the future televisionDaniela McArena
What the future of TikTok might look like
TikTok’s recently released ‘Pulse Premiere’, their premium ad product that strategically places brand ads after content from publishers and partners. They hope this feature helps to address ad placement concerns amid user-generated content, avoiding revenue disruptions historically seen on platforms like YouTube.
😌 The feature covers a wide range of categories such as lifestyle, sports, entertainment, education, and more.
The Digital Growth Summit will be a deep dive into these topics and more, offering insights, discussions and strategies for navigating the rapidly evolving digital news landscape. Stay tuned for more posts in this series as we explore each topic in more detail.
We look forward to welcoming you to the summit on September 26th in Brussels.