Is there a place on Facebook for old TV news? ABC will find out

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ABC is targeting its social media audience with a newscast designed for Facebook. Starting December 1st, the channel will post a clip every weekday featuring additional, behind-the-scenes footage of ABC World News Tonight. Anchor David Muir will present the roundup, called Facecast, condensing the news of the day into one minute. He’ll cover whatever caught ABC’s staffers’ attention in sports, politics, and breaking news.

“The nightly news is not a one-way street anymore,” Muir told Bloomberg. “I tweet during commercial breaks.” Users can access the video on ABC News’ Facebook page. If they’ve already liked the page, it may appear in their Facebook newsfeed.

The channel is calling it “the first ever daily newscast for social media hosted by an evening news anchor.” That’s a little hard to fact-check, although Google didn’t turn up any other examples.

ABC’s rival news channels are all experimenting with new forms of social media content delivery. CBS News’ connected TV offering lets viewers surf through old segments or watch live, and share what they watch on Facebook and Twitter. NBC News has streamed its live coverage of events on Facebook in the past and developed individual stories for the social network.

ABC’s take on the social media news format is reminiscent of media startup NowThis News, which feeds viewers news updates in the form of smaller bites (the length depends on what medium they’re distributed on — Snapchat, Facebook, Vine).

As social media becomes many people’s main source of content, and audiences move to mobile, many TV news organizations are trying to adapt. What works on the television screen isn’t necessarily a fit for the computer, tablet, or phone.

ABC’s World News Tonight is no different. They’re trying to make the old — nightly news — new again. But transplanting the same format, albeit far shorter, may not be quite different enough.

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