It seems an awkward time to tout a new online news source to pay attention to, but CNN may have one. Today, it announced it acquired the Beme, the unique user-generated content app that lets users shoot a unique real view of events.
It’s more like CNN is acquiring Casey Neistat, the inventive YouTube vlogger and one of the brains behind Beme.
Neistat told The Verge today: “It’s going to be very different from Beme and bigger than a single product. There is a tremendous distrust between the audience that watches my content online and the information that is put out by traditional media. Our broad ambition is to figure out a way with tech and media to bridge the gigantic divide.”
“Brief” and “user generated” are the two relevant adjectives that go with Beme and both can be surprisingly dangerous concepts. But that what I think now. By the middle of next year, the digital news business will likely be screeching about something else. And who knows what Beme will grow up to be?
The app -- which was started last year and then improved to fix glitches this year -- had over a million users but seemed to have run out of gas, perhaps for the very reasons that it existed. Neistat wanted a simple video feed of the user’s existence, not the kind of souped-up video Snapchat affords or the longer stuff YouTube caters to.
Maybe not many in the social media world were as interested in that. That supports the idea that CNN is buying Beme to use it as a business unit that is plugged into the millennial non-CNN watching audience and is charged with figuring out a new way to reach it.