Storify has become one of the best ways to create stories from social media — the startup says it has been used by 22 of the top 25 news sites in the United States, and that its users have curated a total of more than 3 million social objects. Now, you can do that curation from your iPad.
The company was already mobile, in the sense that stories (which are essentially timelines of content from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and more) created with Storify tools could be viewed on smartphones and tablets. But with the new Storify iPad app, you can do more than look at a story — you can create one on an iPad, too. In fact, co-founder and CEO Xavier Damman argues that this may be the first great app for content creation (rather than consumption) on the iPad.
That may be selling other apps short, but maybe not — while there are (say) blogging or drawing apps that work adequately on the iPad, those aren’t really the ideal tools for creating content. (Put another way: There’s a reason I’m writing this post on my laptop.) Yet when Damman and his co-founder Burt Herman demonstrated Storify on the iPad earlier this month, I was impressed by how it seemed perfectly suited for the tablet. There’s a responsive, drag-and-drop interface for moving social network updates into the timeline, so it really feels like you’re building something with your fingertips. You can see the interface in action in the video below.
Most of Storify’s traffic comes in the form embedded versions of stories on major media sites, and Damman and Herman lay out a plausible scenario where a reporter could use Storify for iPad to file their report. For example, imagine a reporter at a conference who, instead of lugging their laptop around, just breaks out their iPad to curate the social media version of what’s happening, which in turn is embedded on their website.
Damman and Herman are hopeful that the app will see serious usage at the upcoming South by Southwest conference — which is, of course, a hub for social media sharing and oversharing. If you’re wandering around eight or 12 hours at a time, it’s easier to share the experience via iPad rather than a laptop with only a few hours of battery life.
At the same time, the vision isn’t limited to journalists. The pair says Storify has also gotten a strong response from brands, and they see it as a “social typewriter” that can allow anyone to tell a story.
“We always talk about how social media empowered people to create content,” says Herman (a former journalist himself). “It’s getting simpler and simpler, from 300 words to 140 characters. Now we’re overwhelmed by all this media, so this is the next big step — the curation of all that media that’s out there, extracting the meaning in the noise to tell stories.”
Damman says his team has been focused for the past seven months on creating a great experience for the iPad, though he isn’t ruling out expanding to other platforms like Android in the future.
Turn what people post on social media into compelling stories. With Storify, you collect the best photos, video, quotes from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more to publish them as simple, beautiful stories that can be embedded anywhere. It’s the best way to capture an event whether it’s a news event, a conference, a product launch, a wedding, … Social media streams flow, but stories last.
Burt Herman is co-founder of Storify, a real-time curation platform. He is also founder of Hacks/Hackers, a nationwide organization of journalists and technologists. He previously worked a dozen years as a bureau chief and correspondent for The Associated Press, reporting from Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia, the Middle East and the U.S. Burt was a 2008-9 Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University. He also received a B.A. with honors in political science and M.A. in Russian and East...