Social publisher NowThis has brought back its website after a 3-year hiatus

NowThis News
  • Social publisher NowThis has relaunched its website, which it shuttered in early 2015 to go all-in on social platforms directly.
  • The move comes on the heels of Facebook’s sweeping decision last week to fundamentally alter the News Feed and populate it with more user content versus brand and publisher content to enable “meaningful interactions.”
  • NowThis, however, says that the relaunch is independent of Facebook’s decision and had been in the works for six months.

In early 2015, NowThis went all-in on a distributed Media model, shutting down its website in favour of publishing all of its content directly on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Nearly three years since, the Group Nine Media-owned publisher has reinstated its website. The revamped NowThisNews.com site went live on Wednesday, Business Insider has learned.

A pioneer of millennial-focused, short-form video content, NowThis has long argued that a destination website is not the primary vehicle for reaching younger news consumers.

But as the company’s brand and audience has grown and evolved over the years, it made sense for it to have its own content hub. A website relaunch was six months in the works, according to the publisher.

“It (shutting the website down in 2015) was a strategic decision based on where we were as a company in the early stages of our lifecycle, when it was hard for publishers to drive audiences to a website and even harder to do so as a new entrant,” NowThis president Athan Stephanopoulos told Business Insider. “We have grown tremendously since then in terms of both our audience and the volume and range of content we produce, so it made sense to house all of that great work on a website.”

A website would also be welcome by its brand partners, said Stephanopoulos, as it gives them a chance to run sponsored content on yet another channel. The publisher works with several brands as a part of NowThis Studios, which creates brand content on their behalf and has also developed co-branded channels in partnership with some of them. In December, for instance, it launched NowThis Food with Campbell’s.

Still, the move comes on the heels of Facebook’s sweeping decision last week to fundamentally alter the News Feed and populate it with more user content versus brand and publisher content to enable “meaningful interactions.”

Facebook’s decision has caused many other publishers to stop dead in their tracks and reconsider their reliance on social media platforms.BuzzFeed, for instance, started running ads on Friday to direct readers to its own mobile app, where it has a more direct relationship with them.

But relaunching its website doesn’t mean that NowThis will pull back from social media platforms, including Facebook. In fact, December 2017 was NowThis’ top-performing month on the channel, said Stephanopoulos.

“We still see ourselves as a distributed media publisher,” said Stephanopoulos.”It’s not about forsaking one in favour of another – it’s not an either-or situation, it’s an and-and situation.”

This post has been updated.

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