Making politics sexy at the re:publica in Thessaloniki

WhatsApp is the most popular app among young users, yet media companies are still reluctant to use it to spread their content. In their session, Hannah Schwär and Dorothea Schmitz introduced shotty, their news format for WhatsApp. The project came together as an undertaking with 16 other young journalists from the Axel Springer Academy and in cooperation with the developers at Team 21.

The journalists’ aim: Politics made sexy. In light of the German general election in 2017, they wanted to reach, inform and entertain first-time voters. Every morning at 7 am, they record a voice mail for their subscribers and give them a short overview of the day’s current events. They also report on various other issues for their young audience, from radicalization to the dangers of “sexting”.

Schmitz and Schwär see a huge potential for media companies in the circulation of news via WhatsApp, one that allows the format to become a kind of “friend” to the user. To expand on this, they made use of the status feature for their project, something they see as far underused for communicating with users.

You can find more information on shotty in this article (German language only).