SnapStream Blog

2020: The Year of Video Proof

January 22 2021 by Monty Mitra

Video connects us. From lighthearted TikToks and Zoom happy hours to the sobering images from Black Lives Matter protests and the insurrection at the US Capitol, moments captured in video drive our conversations and shape our opinions.

The social isolation and turmoil of 2020 only reinforced the importance of meaningful connection and shared experiences. While we continue to be physically isolated from each other, journalism and technology have kept us current and engaged with the world around us. Reliable information has been crucial in the face of an ongoing global pandemic and tumultuous political climate.

However, bias and misinformation has called journalism’s ability to provide impartial, transparent information into question. With the very definition of truth up for debate, we saw a meaningful increase in video usage and viewership as people looked for ways to validate the news with their own eyes.

 

More Video Means More Video Clips

At SnapStream, we saw increases across all our usage metrics in 2020 - from video recording and search to clip production and social sharing

SnapStream customers created 25% more clips compared to the prior year, with a significant uptick in the months preceding the presidential election. News outlets, think tanks, and other media providers leveraged key moments to inform and persuade voters as they navigated a relentless influx of both facts and fiction.

 

SnapStream Clips Created 2020 v. 2019

Chart showing SnapStream users clipped 25% more videos in 2020 than in 2019.

 

Tweets Featuring Video Improve Engagement by up to 3X

According to Reuters, “[2021] will be a year when text-based newsrooms invest more heavily in online audio and video content, in data journalism, as well as the snackable visual ‘stories’ that work well on social media.” 

We already know people rely on social media to get their news. More than 70% of Twitter users say they use the network to stay informed. In 2020, the number of tweets posted with SnapStream featuring a video clip increased nearly 100% over the prior year. 

 

SnapStream Tweets with Clips 2020 v. 2019

Chart showing SnapStream users created 100% more tweets featuring video clips in 2020 compared to 2019.

 

Tweets including video clips proliferated for a simple reason - they perform. Readers are far more likely to engage with social content powered by video proof.

 

Tweets with video receive:

  • 2X more likes

  • 3X more retweets

  • 2.5X more replies

 

Video proof gives the reader a level of context for the information they’re consuming that quotes or static images can't match. As Graham Lampa of the Atlantic Council says, “Bite-sized pieces of easily consumable video content come packaged with incisive commentary that situates the source material within a broader political, cultural, and journalistic context.” 

This tweet sent via SnapStream by Oliver Darcy generated ~500K engagements and 8.6M views

 

What's in Store for 2021?

The pandemic and concerns about misinformation during 2020 has altered how we interact with the world. We've seen that these themes will continue well into 2021, which will keep journalism and news at the forefront. We expect usage of and engagement with video moments to continue to accelerate as video can uniquely help newsmakers deliver their audiences vital context quickly and maintain the engagement and connection we all crave.

Video clips killed the cable news star

January 05 2021 by Graham Lampa

Video clips are rapidly transforming the way political and cultural commentary is generated and circulated. Statements and actions by prominent figures that might have otherwise gone unnoticed and unremarked upon after being aired just once or twice on cable television are now increasingly being identified, surfaced, commented on, and spread around online.

This new phenomenon of video clip-based online journalism and commentary is bootstrapping a new kind of scaffolding better suitable for our more rapidly responsive public discourse. Video clips shared on social media are enabling a more visceral, richer, and more accessible many-to-many conversation about today’s most pressing issues of social concern that goes well beyond what the one-to-many medium of cable television can facilitate.

Graham Lampa at the Atlantic Council

In the seemingly ever-increasing pace of the modern world, the question is not only whether trusted media outlets can keep up but whether their audiences even have the time and attention available that is necessary to keep themselves broadly informed as citizens. Combine this with users' growing expectations of interactivity and being able to have their own say and conditions are ripe for a video clip-powered revolution in how people inform themselves—and one another—about the world around them.

Online media pioneer John Battelle has noted that linear cable television seems intent on keeping eyeballs glued to the screen all day long. His new venture, Recount Media, seeks to give people the information they need and to give them back their time.

“What you can’t do,” Battelle said in a recent interview with Paul Blanchard on the Media Masters podcast, “is set out to waste your audiences’ time, which is exactly what video journalism does both online—think YouTube—and offline in linear television.”

“Without the ability to quickly assess, with your own eyes, using the most powerful medium we’ve come up with—which is digital video—the national dialogue is suffering,” Battelle says. “What you have instead are these sort of endless yell fests on television… they tend to push people into confirmation bias bubbles or worse.” Recount Media, he says, was founded in part to reimagine the “manufacturing process for video journalism” and employs short video clips to quickly provide its audiences the news and context they need, at the time of their choosing, and in the places they tend to gather.

A key platform for such short-form video journalism is Twitter and one of the most prominent leaders in this space is my close friend and journalist Aaron Rupar of Vox Media. Rupar has helped establish the “Twitter video clip thread” as an entirely new and uniquely impactful form of media content as he’s simultaneously grown his Twitter audience to over 600 thousand followers. Rupar takes a clip, contextualizes it from a sharp political perspective, and sends it out into the world.

The video clip thread fundamentally transforms its source material—often hours and hours of cable television coverage of political speeches—into an entirely new product that is quickly scannable, watchable, and shareable. Bite-sized pieces of easily consumable video content come packaged with incisive commentary that situates the source material within a broader political, cultural, and journalistic context.

Video clips are not only highly consumable, they’re now also highly producible. The relatively recent availability of easy-to-use tools like SnapStream helps make working with video content more akin to editing text than to traditional video editing. My and Rupar’s mutual adoption of video as the primary medium for our work was not expected—hen Rupar and I first met over 15 years ago, I was the editor of our college newspaper and he was preparing himself for a career in print journalism. SnapStream and other tools allow us—as words-oriented content creators—to be able to produce video-based content (normally quite time-consuming) en masse. For example, almost half of Rupar’s more than 12,000 tweets in 2020 containing video content, up from just 8% in 2017.

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At my own organization, the Atlantic Council (a Washington, DC-headquartered, non-profit, non-partisan think tank with significant international reach), I have similarly led an effort to derive greater value from our own most plentiful resource—hours and hours of video of traditional think tank panel discussions—by distilling these often highly academic, niche policy conversations into more engaging Twitter video threads. Since going fully remote in March this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council has hosted some 370 public online events.

Following my very first application of Rupar’s SnapStream-powered technique (a thread covering HR McMaster’s final speech as National Security Advisor, hosted at the Atlantic Council in April 2018) went viral and smashed all existing engagement records for Twitter at my organization, the Council has since adopted this method as the main way in which we publicize our own events and the ideas they generate—live as they are happening. The McMaster thread generated what was for us at the time a significant amount of engagement—over a half million impressions generated through over 300 retweets of the tweets in the thread. This was the most Twitter engagement we’d generated on any given day—five times the daily peak for impressions in the preceding three months—and we now internally use “a McMaster” as a unit of measure for Twitter impressions. Users’ retweets of our thread enabled us to distribute our exclusive video content beyond our own following and also helped spark additional traditional media interest in the speech, which had occurred late the night before after primetime, resulting in roughly 1,000 media hits within the first 48 hours, including among top-tier media outlets such as the Washington Post, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox.

Our use of live video clips shared to Twitter, combined with our well-regarded ability to convene prominent world leaders in outstanding highly produced public events, allows the Atlantic Council to regularly boost our own events' hashtags into the trending list on Twitter, giving our content much greater visibility interest well beyond our existing audiences. On average and consistently over time, our tweets containing video clips generate more than 2X the engagement of tweets without video clips.

As a non-profit think tank, our value lies in our ability to have an impact on public discourse and policymaking. However, one the most successful clips we’ve ever tweeted—of Canadian Prime Justin Trudeau speaking about youth leaders—appears on the surface to be bereft of any actual policy content at all. However our overarching policy goal for the event at which the Prime Minister spoke was to engage the next generation of young leaders to help re-establish the relevance of NATO within today’s more complex and dynamic global system.

This one video clip—served up as a standalone tweet that received over 1300 likes and 400 retweets rather than as part of a longer thread— delivered on that policy goal in a way that noa research paper, study, or panel discussion traditional products for a think tank) geared towards more mature audiences likely never could—by reaching our target audience (young people across Europe and North America) where they congregate (on social media) and capturing their attention to deliver our message  that “young people must actively shape the future by the things they do today.” The clip also helped make our #NATOEngages hashtag trend in London where we hosted the event in December 2019, leveraging popular appeal to focus greater attention on the often inscrutable topics of international affairs and alliances.

Why is this content format so uniquely engaging? Three main factors make the Twitter video thread uniquely impactful on the news consumer and the online media ecosystem.

First, the combination of textual commentary layered on top of the original source video simultaneously provides a kind of self-reinforcing justification of newsworthiness. Don’t believe the journalist’s commentary? Watch the video. Don’t understand why the video matters? Read the commentary for more context.

Second, when any given tweet from a video clip thread is shared on by any given user, the entire thread of content is discoverable by their followers—not only the video clip tweet that caught the original user’s interest. The second user may find an entirely different clip that they find worthy of sharing on, contributing to the strongly viral nature of such content. While we don’t post the enormous engagement numbers my friend Aaron Rupar does, the Atlantic Council’s “McMaster moment” demonstrates that even a wonky think tank playing it down the middle can also punch above its weight online by effectively leveraging video threads to advance its impact as an organization.

Third, and perhaps most vitally, Twitter’s “quote tweet” feature allows the recirculation of the underlying source content with each additional user’s own commentary layered on top and spread yet further. For example, Rupar’s video tweets are quote tweeted, on average, 15 times more often than his non-video tweets (in 2017 when Rupar began using SnapStream, his video tweets outperformed his non-video tweets in this metric by 40 times, helping him build his following early on). Here, we begin to see how this new scaffolding for public discourse is being built quote tweet by quote tweet.

Why does all of this matter?

Although social media is often (and rightfully) blamed for creating information bubbles, I would argue that the self-evident nature of video—combined with layers upon layers of political and cultural commentary—is actually contributing to a greater circulation of ideas and viewpoints across and among political constituencies. People don’t only react to video clips by liking or retweeting them—they’re engaging in conversation themselves by using these clips as the basis for their own political and cultural commentary.

For journalists, media outlets, and other organizations seeking broad audiences for their content, video is a uniquely powerful way to connect with end users and tools like SnapStream that make it possible to produce short-form video content at the scale necessary to “feed the beast” and keep audiences coming back from more.

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What’s New in SnapStream 9.6

December 23 2020 by Monty Mitra

We’re excited to announce SnapStream 9.6, which adds support for recording audio-only streams and includes more than 80 bug fixes and stability improvements delivering increased uptime and a smoother experience.

Learn more about recording and clipping audio-only streams in this video:

We are also extending the streams free trial so you can record streams for free longer (for all customers on 9.5 or 9.6).

 

Schedule Upgrade to 9.6

These newest features are available as a software upgrade to your SnapStream. Want to start using them? Have your administrator schedule an upgrade.

SnapStream’s support team will perform the upgrade via a remote session that usually takes an hour.

 

Customer Spotlight - Media Matters for America

November 30 2020 by Juliette Richert

In our Customer Spotlight series, we highlight SnapStream customers and the important work they are doing.

With the world at our fingertips, it’s more important than ever to know what news you can trust. Launched in May 2004, D.C. based Media Matters for America is dedicated to stopping the spread of misinformation in the U.S. media. In order to monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation,  MMFA produces both rapid-response pieces and long-form, analytics-based research.

It’s imperative for the MMFA team to be able to effectively monitor, analyze and quickly report on media bias. By recording and monitoring a gamut of TV channels using SnapStream, Media Matters can live tweet and point out disinformation or misleading news (through a host of popular Twitter accounts), quickly reaching their nearly half a million followers on @MMFA twitter account and even more through the Twitter accounts of staff members. For longer form articles, the transcriptions generated by SnapStream provide a basis for analysis.

Here are some examples of the type of content MMFA produces.

A rapid-response video tweet

 

MMFA 2

A longer form research study using analytics from SnapStream

 

We are proud of the work that MMFA is doing bringing accountability to media and look forward to continuing to support them in their mission.

 

Five Steps to Find Your Voice with Evan Gregory of The Gregory Brothers

November 30 2020 by Juliette Richert
Since graduating recently from Rice University, guest writer Juliette Richert is continuing her education by listening to as many podcasts about politics, culture, and society as she can get her hands on.

Much of America wondered how we were going to process two presidential town halls that replaced the cancelled debate during the 2020 presidential campaign. In response, the Gregory Brothers, in collaboration with Darren Criss, used video effects to create “an alternate reality,” where the opponents sang their arguments to each other. These melodies were created by “songifying” found footage, which is the process of applying audio pitch correction to the spoken voice to make it sound like music. The video gives you a pretty good idea of what both candidates discussed in reality (at their separate town halls), and the music is likely to get stuck in your head.

This unique work is a product of a decade of practice and has attracted a following of more than 3 million.  Browsing their YouTube channel is like walking through a library of past internet culture from memorable moments in US politics to iconic memes. The group, which includes Evan, Michael, Andrew, and Sarah Gregory, are foremost musicians, but their distinctive music videos that tie together comedy and current events have turned heads. Evan Gregory of The Gregory Brothers attributes their success to finding their voice. On your path to success, “finding your voice” may feel like a vague, overwhelming goal, but Evan gave us some insight into how you can find your voice and what makes you unique, too. 

 

1. Get your reps in. 

When you’re figuring out what you’re going to be good at, it’s going to take a lot of practice. If you want to make music, make a lot of music and then make some more. Producing a lot of videos over a long period of time has given The Gregory Brothers  practice and perspective to figure out what they like and what they want to be good at.  

The team has refined their process to be as efficient as possible. Before a big event, like a presidential debate, the group has a fair idea of what will be discussed (climate change, coronavirus, etc.), so they write a script and do pre-recordings with their guest. During the event itself, two of them, usually Evan and Michael, will watch the debate and take notes, sending messages to the other, about which clips from SnapStream they might want to use. They listen for moments where someone says something notable or speaks musically, making it easier to “songify.” They didn’t come up with this process overnight, rather it’s a result of countless hours of practice. 

 

2. Better done than perfect. 

Rather than focusing on getting everything perfect, it’s best to not get overwhelmed with perfection. If you’re going to make a lot in order to “get in your reps,” there may be times where you don’t hit the mark. Defining what is most important to you and focusing on that (more on that below), may be helpful in coping with a loss of perfectionism. 

 

3. Define your guiding principles.

The Gregory Brothers put their creative process first. Though it’s gratifying to see that millions of people liked their videos, they’ve decided that it’s most important to make sure their music sounds good.

First and foremost, they always aim to create high quality music. If you listen to their music from the 2020 presidential campaign, the group wants you to feel like you’re listening to an album that “captures a snapshot of their aesthetic” and accurately reflects the essence of today’s political movers. 

This leads us to their next priority, which is to accurately reflect reality. For example, watching their video of the cancelled debate will give you a pretty good idea of both presidential candidate’s arguments with a comical take. It might be easy to fall into the trap of thinking of their work as educational, a label which Evan rejects, as not to venture into the realm of journalism. They always want their videos to be interesting, frequently using comedy to heighten an opinion or statement. In Evan’s words, "comedy speaks truth and highlights things that are not spoken about." Though rarer than their comedic feats, the brothers use their process to highlight poignant events, like this speech of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

 

4. Build your expertise one area at a time.

Coming from a musical background, the group's video expertise has been entirely self-taught. In order to manage this learning curve while still producing, Evan described his incremental approach to self-education. Currently, he’s mastering video effects and creating video worlds, exemplified below where Darren Criss appears to sit at a table with Joe Biden. Evan’s next goal is to dive deeper in cinematography, which has become one of his long term goals. The progression of the group’s videos tells a story of the progression of their expertise. Looking at their earlier videos, you can tell when they were working on green screen effects versus now where they integrate green screen effects quite effectively. By choosing to get really good at one thing, they have been able to integrate new forms of tech and video production, from efficiency tools like SnapStream which makes it easy to find, edit, and share the most important video moments to creative video effects, without getting overwhelmed. 

 

5. Attract your audience.

The Gregory Brothers’ videos are designed like any good song, which keeps you coming back to hear it again. It’s “rewatchability,” a term coined by Evan, that draws their audience back for more. If you’re like me, their songs will be stuck in your head for days at a time. Because their tracks are designed to be listened to repeatedly, they’re able to benefit from multiple revenue streams. You can find them on Spotify and iTunes, as well as YouTube. They’ve found a way to hook their audience by using video. People come for a funny video and stay for the jams.

The Gregory Brothers have amassed a following of more than  3 million by focusing on an authentic creative practice, motivated by their desire to make high quality music. By venturing into video, which they knew little about when they began experimenting 10 years ago, they stumbled onto something great and found a career. Finding your voice will take time and might be messy, but the risk is worth the reward.

Feature Friday: Bethany Goldson

November 06 2020 by Bethany Goldson

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Are there corgis on that dress?

 

Happy Feature Friday! Meet our top bird lover, Bethany:

How did you find SnapStream?

I had just returned to Texas after receiving my Master's degree in San Francisco. I knew I wanted to be back home in Texas, but was hoping to find work at a company with the fun tech culture that I saw on the west coast. Finding a company that supported a healthy work/life balance was important to me because I fill my evenings and weekends with creative pursuits. I saw SnapStream's listing for an Office Assistant on Indeed, and I immediately knew this was the place for me. I actually wore a dress with corgis on it for my interview because I figured, "Why not? This group is fun, they'll appreciate it". Turns out that Chelsea, our HR Manager, also loves corgis. I'm pretty sure I was hired just because of the dress.

What is your role here?

Human Resources Assistant.

How have you grown with SnapStream?

Well, first I've learned how to build a lot of Ikea furniture! On a more serious note, I've gone through a lot of personal growth. I really didn't have a clear career path when I came out of grad school, but one has organically formed since I started here at SnapStream. I recently transitioned into my current HR position, which is something I never foresaw. Working in HR is a constant exercise in emotional intelligence, so I feel that I've learned how to work not only with people better, but with myself as well.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

Definitely the people. There is always someone to talk to and some sort of hilarious banter happening, whether on Slack, Zoom, or in-person, and I feel incredibly lucky that it's my job to talk to them everyday! Second, my personal experience with growth within the company has been extremely positive. When COVID-19 began, I truly feel like SnapStream put the safety of us employees first and continues to make sure we are taken care of while working from home. I switched over to HR at the beginning of the pandemic since there wasn't much of an office to assist. I'm incredibly grateful that SnapStream offered me opportunity during such a crazy time.

What do you like to do when you aren't at SnapStream?

I'm obsessed with corgis and parrots - my corgi's names are Babka and Kaiser, and I have a cockatiel named Corgi. I sing classically and teach voice outside of the office and love a good cup of earl grey. Hobbies include reading (especially philosophy and historical fiction), cross stitching and playing Among Us.

Feature Friday: Chris Winton

October 30 2020 by Bethany Goldson

Chris

Chris visiting NASA for our Houston scavenger hunt in 2015 - he won the most points!

 

Well hello y'all, it's Feature Friday! Meet one of our awesome engineers, Chris:

How did you find SnapStream?

When I first found SnapStream, I didn’t know it was SnapStream. I was using SnapStream’s CouchVille offering which was a TV listing service that I used for my MythTV box (a free open source DVR). I later found SnapStream going through the list of best places to work in Houston while looking for a new job.

What is your role here?

Senior Software Engineer. I’ve worked on a lot of different parts of the product, but the biggest ones would probably have to be the cloud version and supporting website as well as frame accurate clipping.

How have you grown with SnapStream?

I think my communication skills have improved quite a bit, as well as just having a better understanding of how things work. I’ve also come to appreciate Windows a lot more from a server/IT perspective as well as coming to like C#.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

We're a laid-back company with talented people that actually care about the product we're producing.

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I like to play video games, go shooting, work on my vehicles, and doing various other computer nerdery.

 

Feature Friday: Daryl Paid

October 23 2020 by Bethany Goldson

IMG_0398

Supporting the dog life! 

 

Welcome back to Feature Friday! Read about how Daryl rowed his way onto our support team:

How did you find SnapStream?

I found SnapStream one night when searching for IT jobs on Google. I was still in college at the time, so part-time work was my only option. I looked more into SnapStream through sites like Glassdoor and saw pictures of an awesome work environment and happy employees. I remember speaking to Chelsea (our HR Manager) over the phone and when I asked what I should wear for the interview, she told me to dress casually. I took it as business casual but when I entered the office I saw people in cargo shorts, sweat pants, and flip flops. I felt really overdressed!

What is your role here?

Staff Tech Support Engineer

How have you grown with SnapStream?

As far as height, I'm still the same!  In terms of work, it has been amazing and I am grateful to the managers for giving me a full-time job after graduating from college. I’ve learned a lot about our products and how intricate they are while working in Support. Paul (our Technical Customer Support Manager) and the rest of the Support team played a big role in my position. They took the time to teach me everything they knew and gave me tips and tricks on what to do in certain situations.

Kyle ( our Platform Engineer) also taught me a lot when I was working in IT. Whether it was about networking, virtual machines, servers, or building IKEA furniture, he was great at describing how things function. I still apply what he taught me to my current role as well as outside of work

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

Besides the awesome employees, the stocked up fridge and pantry (pre-covid), get-togethers (now virtually), and randomness in general, one of my favorite things about SnapStream is our fitness challenge. It’s fun competing with other employees on who can get the most points, plus we get Amazon Gift Cards every 100 points!

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I like to hang out with friends, play games, and annoy my dogs. I enjoy weight lifting and recently got into rowing. I also like to binge-watch Hallmark Christmas movies.

Feature Friday: Patrick Conway

October 16 2020 by Bethany Goldson

Patrick

My milkshake brings all the bugs to the yard...

 

Happy Feature Friday! Get to know an incredible member of our QA team, Patrick:

How did you find SnapStream?

I found SnapStream while I was still living in Madison, Wisconsin. I was looking for something new and exciting and I had lived in Houston before, so I started looking for jobs in the area. SnapStream was on the top of the list because the product seemed really cool and the culture aligned with what I was going for. After applying, I had flown down to interview and had received an offer as I stepped off the plane in Madison. In the span of about 3 weeks I had put everything that could fit into my rusty Buick, gave away or donated everything that couldn’t fit, and started the move to Houston. I did a week-long tour of the U.S. on my way down before finally getting into Houston the day before I started.

What is your role here?

I work as a Lead Quality Assurance Engineer. I’ve been with SnapStream for 7 years.

How have you grown with SnapStream?

In QA, I’m always exposed to new technology as we develop it. I’ve learned a great deal about video standards and how it’s transmitted, closed captions, networking, cloud systems, and so much more. I tend to get a lot of crash courses in many different things due to the nature of testing. Also, due to Slack debates, I’ve seemingly formed a strong opinion of what constitutes a sandwich.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

It has to be the people and culture. Everyone is easy to work with and there aren't layers of bureaucracy that you need to go through to get something done. It’s a fun place to work at with unique challenges that you wouldn’t really encounter in other jobs.

What do you like to do when you aren’t at SnapStream?

I watch a lot of sports (Go Pack Go!) and play a lot of video games, with World of Warcraft and Rocket League being my mainstays. I can also be found raiding my wife’s library and reading books from time to time.

 

 

 

Content Meets Context: The Power of Video with Aaron Rupar

October 15 2020 by Juliette Richert
Since graduating recently from Rice University, guest writer Juliette Richert is continuing her education by listening to as many podcasts about politics, culture, and society as she can get her hands on.

Given Aaron Rupar’s half a million Twitter followers, his work is obviously popular, but why? As a millennial, I haven’t turned on cable TV in more than 5 years. Like much of my generation and the country, I get my news from the Internet and social media. Using short videos to share news stories on his Twitter feed and in his writing with Vox, Rupar connects Internet and social media users to the world of TV watchers, shedding light on the filter through which much of America receives news and information.

In 2017, Rupar was working as a journalist with Center for American Progress and had only a couple of thousand followers. That number has since soared after his “John Kelly” post (as seen below) was retweeted more than six thousand times, the most retweets he had received up until that point. This successful tweet propelled Rupar from a meager 4K Twitter followers to nearly half of a million, a 10x increase in followers over the past 3 years.

Kelly, by rupar

John Kelly on Fox

Rupar is now an associate editor for politics and policy at Vox, an avid Twitter user, and self-labeled liberal. He’s refined his beat from politics to primarily Congress, the Republican party, and Trump. Rupar publishes short pieces for Vox nearly every day, designed to give context around current events. His quick response time, sense of humor, and easy-to-read writing style make Rupar a strong reporter. Rupar’s Twitter feed, which he updates more than 30 times a day, has a critical and often satirical take on politics and the White House.

His most popular tweet from each thread gives a brief look at what people found interesting or important, but his long threads give you the chance to dig into the details of the event minute-by-minute, without ever having to watch the whole thing. Rupar’s Twitter feed is fun to explore, and you can easily get lost in rabbit hole-threads. Along with entertainment value, his work provides access to video that many people might not see otherwise.

Rupar feed clipped

Scrolling through Rupar's feed

Rupar’s time on Twitter and his success as a journalist at Vox have a symbiotic relationship. His Twitter following has helped Vox by indirectly growing their audience and increasing traffic. In order to make his Twitter threads, Rupar has to trim down longer videos. This process allows Rupar to engage with news as he live-tweets and construct rough outlines of his written pieces for Vox. In his writing, Rupar frequently uses short videos pulled from his Twitter-feed to contextualize the topic, providing audio and visual context that is difficult to replicate with words alone.

 

“With Trump everything is a spectacle, so it lends itself to video.” - Aaron Rupar

 

Videos provide context for the viewer to experience and understand the news, according to Rupar. Rupar’s discovery of SnapStream in 2017 was well-timed with the presidency. Trump is the most frequent face seen on Rupar’s feed (rivaled now only by his new daughter, Mia). Trump’s wild oratorical style and polarizing statements certainly help Rupar catch the attention of his audience. However, Rupar is confident that when Trump leaves office (whether that be in 4 more years or a couple months), there will still be high demand for news clips on Twitter.

 

“It’s one thing to have an opinion on politics, but if you have the video with it…people like to see people saying things” - Aaron Rupar

 

Why are some people ditching TV and paying attention to shorter clips of news? News consumers feel pressed for time and are exhausted by the current news cycle, so shorter clips are a quick way to consume news. If a video isn’t interesting enough, I’ll skip around to find the highlights. Rupar basically does that work for you.

Social media is also crafted to keep us moving down the feed, consuming as many posts as possible. Instead of competing with other TV stations, reporters now compete with puppy videos and memes for their audience’s attention. Best to make your post eye-catching and to-the-point in order to grab back their attention. Plus, there’s something priceless about seeing things for yourself.

Trump, mispronounce rupar

President Trump at a rally in September

Video isn’t going anywhere because it gives you and your audience the ability to make up your own mind. How are you giving your audience the context they deserve?

 

What is SnapStream? There's an unlimited amount of video content out there: 24/7 news channels, breaking news events, sports, talk shows, awards galas, entertainment shows, and so much more.

SnapStream makes a real-time news and media search engine that makes it fast and easy to find the video moments that support our customers telling great stories.

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