The public is always skeptical of content, especially interactive content, and the recent news of social media manipulation involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica won’t make them more so, said Shachar Orren, chief storyteller at Playbuzz, a storytelling platform used by publishers and brands to create interactive engagement. Interactivity is not a novelty, but a core part of how users want to consume content today and could help ease the plague of fake news and trust issues, Orren told Velocitize talks.
Interactive content resonates with all generations, not just younger ones, but it depends on what the user is looking for, she said. Most content is mobile now; 90% of Playbuzz content is now consumed via messages, so it needs to adapt to the medium. But the interactive element resonates with all groups, she said: “It wakes people up.”
The new European data privacy regulations are worrying some companies that fear they will lose their ability to operate, but it’s an opportunity to make content better by getting more relevant information, Orren said. “It creates a trusting relationship,” she said. Companies will have a chance to learn from their users and better engage them, she said: “I don’t remember a time when I was asked what kind of ads I want served or what’s relevant for me.”
Companies will also have to be more transparent about what they stand for and more are sharing it to be more relevant , said Orren. “It really creates that personal connection with the brand,” she said. Even if users disagree with the company’s stand “it feels more like an entity I can identify with, rather than just someone trying to feed me content that’s not relevant to me.”
Content creation continues to evolve with the growth of artificial intelligence, said Orren. A recent Playbuzz hackathon developed a new content creation tool that helps authors track supporting materials such as pictures and interactive elements to build up the content. AI won’t only help creating content, but serving it to the users, she said.
But in the end, humans will have to take control of the content, said Orren. Even if publishers create tools to vet content, user engagement is the solution to the problems of credibility and fake news, said Orren. Engaged consumers can be more discriminating with their information, she said.
“One of the reasons fake news can spread so easily is because of that fact that people are skimming through content, and not meaningfully reading it,” said Orren. “If you create your article in an engaging way, and people actually spend two or three minutes of time on it, they won’t be as easy to fool.”