Playbuzz helps online publishers make their content more interactive by adding elements like polls and galleries.
Until recently, those elements have taken the form of widgets that publishers can embed into their stories, but that’s changing with the launch of Playbuzz’s new Storytelling platform, where writers are creating entire articles, not just one-off widgets.
While it doesn’t look all that different from other blogging tools (including the WordPress editor that I’m using to write this post), there’s an emphasis on the kinds of interactivity that have been Playbuzz’s bread and butter. This includes existing Playbuzz features like polls, as well as new capabilities like integration with Getty Images and Giphy. There’s also a new editor that’s supposed to make it quick and easy for publishers to build their own videos.
Then the entire article can be embedded on WordPress, thanks to Playbuzz’s WordPress plugin.
When the company’s “chief storyteller” Shachar Orren demonstrated the new platform for me, she said the goal is for “your whole article to be engaging and interactive,” rather than just creating a regular article and adding one or two interactive pieces.
And while polls and quizzes are often conflated with clickbait and fluff, Orren said they can be used to illustrate more serious news, too.
“The Huffington Post is using this every week to make the hardcore news topics of that week accessible to a millennial audience,” she said.
For example, HuffPost (which, like TechCrunch, is owned by Verizon/Oath) used the Storytelling platform to publish a humor piece around back-and-forth messages between President Trump and the House GOP, and it combined a variety of formats to try to explain the U.K. election to Americans.
Eventually, Playbuzz hopes to move all publishers to the Storytelling platform, though Oren said they’ll still be able to create individual widgets if they want.