Personalisation and algorithms are predicted to change 2015

As the year draws to a close, Ashleigh Tullis looks at the trends expected to shift journalism and newsrooms in 2015. Drawing from NiemanLab’s Predictions for Journalism 2015, Schibsted’s Future Report and Webbmedia Group’s 2015 Trend Report she finds common threads, including personalisation and algorithms.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | December 17, 2014

Personalisation of news 

“No longer will there be a singular front page — instead, each person will see a news mix refined ever so slightly to reflect their region, interests, and habits,” ventured Craig Saila, director of digital products at The Globe and Mail in the NiemanLab series. Personal reading recommendations are also a trend to watch for Schibsted’s strategy team which points to its own news service, Omni and Yahoo! as examples of personalisation.

Most pundits are watching Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg whose quest for the personalised newspaper is well known. In a public Q&A in November he again reiterated: “Our goal is to build the perfect personalised newspaper for every person in the world.”

Amy Webb predicted for NiemanLab that “Consumers — not their devices — must be the focus of any content strategy in 2015.”

“In 2015, news content, the brand experience, the interactivity, the social components, and the advertising all must answer this central question: What is the ideal version of this story for this individual consumer, given what she’s doing, what she’s thinking, what she’s been reading or watching recently and how much time she has at this very moment?” Webb added.


In 2015, Webbmedia’s 2015 Trend Report predicts the launch of services using algorithms to curate news. Algorithms are designed to curate content based on users’ interests and most recent behaviour. “Rather than delivering a full breaking news story to our mobile phones, algorithms will deliver the ‘waiting in line at Starbucks’ version of that story, a more in-depth longread to our tablets, and a video version of that story once we’re in front of our connected TVs,” says the Webbmedia report.

Facebook’s use of algorithms in its Newsfeed is of interest to Schibsted and Felix Salmon, a senior editor at Fusion, who in the NiemanLab series predicts a pull back of publisher’s content on Facebook, with huge consequences. In 2015… “the winners of the Facebook attention lottery are going to be more videos, as well as genuinely native, in-app content from advertisers. The losers are going to be external websites who have become reliant on the Facebook traffic firehose. That traffic is going to start falling, in 2015, for the first time. And the repercussions are likely to be huge.”

Share via
Copy link