Managing the rise of social channels

By Jake Kreinberg

The co-founder and CEO of NewsWhip explains how increasing amounts of information being shared via social is making it more difficult for companies to understand how their target audiences are communicating.

Editor’s note: At a recent conference at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Paul Quigley, the co-founder and CEO of NewsWhip, provided a word of caution about the rise of social media. To hear other perspectives from the conference, click here.

What is the importance of data and social channels to different platforms?

Paul: Social channels have kind of become one of the biggest ways that information is distributed now if you include people sharing information over email.

When you go back 20 years, information was delivered to you directly through your television or in the packaged form of a newspaper. Sharing or passing it on was a very labor-intensive activity involving VHS cassettes, involving scissors and a stamp – and knowing someone’s address so you could send them an article.

When you compare that with email, and then there’s Twitter and Facebook, WhatsApp and everything else, and now we’ve got this wonderful ecosystem where people are passing around nuggets of information.

It’s no longer as easy for [companies] to [analyze] and understand how that information is being shared, and that’s where the new players come in, the new technology companies come in and help them understand what’s being shared, why it’s being shared. So they still have good understanding and control of their distribution.

Jake Kreinberg

Jake is the text and multimedia product manager at The Associated Press and the former editor of Insights. He previously covered college sports as a reporter for AP and helped design its multi-year strategic plan. Have feedback about the blog? Contact us at

insights, tow center