How slow can news be? USA Today is maybe about to set a new standard for the “it’s okay to read yesterday’s news tomorrow“-way of thinking. The newspaper just announced a partnership with time travel app Timehop.
Timehop is a mobile app that sends you daily reminders of what happened a year ago on the same day, by scanning through the social media accounts that you linked to Timehop. Not sure if their’s an use for that? Well, I was reminded by Timehop just a couple of days ago that, exactly a year earlier, I had received an e-mail telling me that I had been selected to be a semifinalist for the fabulous Knight fellowship I’m lucky to be part of now. Seeing this brought a great dose of happiness to my day.
In the case of news, these time capsules can have other kinds of value. They can add context, be a fun fact or piece of trivia to discuss at the water cooler, or maybe something else, that USA Today will find out later on.
This is how the paper sees the use of Timehop for now:
When a user pulls up a specific day, it will show content they shared last year, two years ago, or as far as they prefer. Starting today, USA TODAY stories will filter into the daily feed, showing users the big stories written on that day.
But it’s not all about exploring archives. USA Today digs out the past to connect it to current events. This would be the story featured today on Timehop:
Possibly, this will lead to stories of their own. This is maybe one of the things that are likable in this partnership, along with the early adoptive attitude of the newspaper, trying to make use of a new technology that is not, per se, dedicated to storytelling or journalism.
It will be interesting to see if other media outlets will follow USA Today’s steps.