Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Twelve People Get Different Jobs

Mike Isaac reports for the New York Times on CNN’s acquisition of Beme, the small video-based social network:

With millions of people regularly tuning in to his YouTube video blogs every morning, Casey Neistat has a millennial fan base coveted by both marketers and media companies. Now, one of those big media outlets is bringing Mr. Neistat — and, it hopes, his youthful audience — in-house.

That’s the lede, and it contains absolutely nothing about the app itself or why it — not Neistat — was acquired. I stole the headline on this post from Nate Boateng because it’s basically what Isaac’s article is all about: twelve people are getting hired by CNN, and the app they used to make is going away. That’s it.

Beme was intended to be a social sharing application that Mr. Neistat described as “more authentic,” a way of putting four-second bursts of video out into the social sphere without giving users the ability to edit or tweak the content. Taking video was as simple as holding a smartphone’s front-facing sensor to one’s body, as if the camera were an extension of one’s chest.

Mr. Neistat hopes to bring that idea of authenticity to a news and media environment to draw in a younger audience largely untapped by the cable news network. CNN will shut down the Beme app, which had 1.2 million downloads before losing steam.

“A huge part of my particular audience sees news and media as largely broken,” Mr. Neistat said in an interview. “My dad sees it as the word of God, but I think the young people definitely do not.”

I don’t think “the young people” are aching for publications that are more “authentic”, in the way that Beme was apparently chasing that particular nebulous characteristic. People of all ages are growing increasingly frustrated with headlines and stories that parrot lies, treat idiotic viewpoints on issues as inherently equal, and publish utter nonsense.