The Economist has expanding its social media presence with the launch of a content stream on mobile messaging app LINE.
The publisher claims to be one of the first to place its content on LINE, which has over 200 million monthly active users across 230 countries.
It will offer follower a mixture of articles, charts, videos, quotes and photos of the day to users in the US, Canada, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, Korea, Hong Kong, UK, Cambodia, and Pakistan.
It also marks The Economist’s first venture onto English-language chat apps.
The Economist claims that LINE, launched in Japan in 2011, will allow it to reach a younger audience, in particular in Asian markets, and complements its existing partnerships with Facebook on Instant Articles and with Twitter on Moments.
Denise Law, deputy editor of social media for The Economist, said: “We believe that there’s a whole universe of younger readers on LINE—particularly in Asia and the US—who appreciate our journalism and want an easy way to engage with and share our global opinions with their friends.”
Speaking to M&M Global in the wake of the title’s sale by Pearson in August last year, The Economist’s chief marketing officer Michael Brunt said the publisher had identified over 130 million potential customers – nicknamed ‘The Progressives’ – it would target with new media plans.
The Economist is also beginning to dabble in virtual reality (VR). It has been announced that it will allow the public to experience Iraq’s Mosul Museum – destroyed by the so-called Islamic State – through VR at London’s Learning Technologies Exhibition next month.
The initiative called, ‘RecoVR Mosul: A collective reconstruction’, uses crowd-sourced imagery to digitally reconstruct historical sites and artefacts.
Tom Standage, deputy editor at The Economist, said: “RecoVR: Mosul is a great example of how technological advances are bringing lost artefacts back to life and will allow future generations to appreciate histories that would otherwise be lost forever. The Economist believes that virtual reality is a great way to utilise technology for innovative story-telling.”