Global: Vice swings axe through news division

Global: Vice swings axe through news division

Vice Media, the edgy outlet that has expanded to become a global presence, has laid off at least 15 staff from its news division, adding support to those that believe there is bubble in valuations of digital media.

Poynter reports that Vice News is axing 15 digital producers, writers and editors in New York, Los Angeles and London.

The move follows recent cuts at Mashable and a downgrade at Buzzfeed after the site missed revenue targets last year.

Vice will invest more resources in television where it believes there are better advertising returns.

In a statement, a Vice spokesperson said the cuts fitted into a larger expansion plan that would ultimately see the company adding jobs and bolstering its daily video, documentary and text offerings.

It is planning to announce new editorial and production bureaus in Hong Kong and San Francisco later this year.

News Corp bought a $US70 million stake in Vice in 2013.

Facebook inquiry finds no bias

Facebook has told a US Senator John Thune that an internal investigation had found “no evidence of systematic political bias” against conservatives in its trending topics tool.

However, The Wall St Journal reports that Facebook will revamp how the feature works to minimise the potential effects of individual biases.

In a 12-page response to Senator Thune, Facebook said a review found that conservative and liberal topics were approved for the trending feature at “virtually identical rates”.

The two most frequent topics since early 2015, Facebook said, are Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the subject “#GOPDebate.”

Still, Facebook said it could not rule out the possibility of “isolated improper actions or unintentional bias” by workers in how trending topics were selected.

The company said it is making several changes intended to “minimise risks where human judgment is involved”.

Among other things, Facebook said the curators who assembled and approved topics would no longer rely on external websites and news outlets to assess the importance of potential topics.

Instagram increases video ad share

Facebook may still have a lead when it comes to brands pushing out video ads on the platform, but its visual social network Instagram is slowly catching up, according to Digiday.

From December 2015 to March of this year, video ad impressions on Instagram jumped from 30 to 65 percent, according to a study by Brand Networks.

Instagram has been making efforts to court advertisers. In February, it unveiled 60-second video ads and also started counting views on videos, giving marketers a better idea of how many people watch their clips.

Earlier this month, it also extended its carousel ad format, allowing marketers to post videos that users can swipe through.

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