New York Times “Slack”-ing with a Bot

Like many other media and large companies , The New York Times has been betting on Slack, the internal communication service for computers created by the founder of Flickr. Slack has partly retired the cumbersome email. “Once you get to a certain size, not everyone can sit together, so having a public channel stands in for that,” explains product vice president of Quartz in Digiday. The New York Times has created around 200 Slack channels for various groups in its organization. But the usage of the tool does not end there and many are pushing Slack to explore new publishing possibilities. The New York Times, once again, is one of them .

They created a bot for the Republican debate in the United States last August and for Apple’s event in October. This bot allowed political content editors to write on  Slack´s specific channel while feeding a live blog simultaneously on both events. Now, delving into the possibilities of Slack in the field of distribution, they have given birth to something equally interesting: a Slack bot to post the best possible stories in their social networks.

Blossom, the new tool built by The New York Times , tries to create a useful filter for the more than 300 stories generated by the media every day . The bot predicts the success that each piece may have in each social network and suggests appropriate content to publishers supported by stored data. When the editors type “Blossom Facebook?” they receive precise suggestions of what should be published at any time.

According to New York Times, the toy, driven by a sort of intelligent algorithm works. Facebook posts recommended by Blossom obtain 120% more clicks on average than conventional ones. There is also a version specifically made for Twitter and they plan to create a bot that works with other social accounts of the newspaper.

What interests us about Blossom is its complementary nature. It does not eliminate the human criteria of an editor, but it helps to shape it and to obtain a greater work performance. This is not automation, it´s support. Without a doubt, this is a great example of creativity in the pursuit of  new publishing models. Here at Tinkle, we use Slack as a communication tool as well and as marketers, we foresee a huge possibility of bots playing a massive role in the near future of marketing due to their extreme precision. 

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