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Special Project

Special Project NEW!
From the 6th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

NowThis TikTok Team

Winner in Phenom Award - Social Media Team

About this entry

NowThis has a singular mission: to make news engaging and relevant for young adults by humanizing our complicated world. As the #1 news outlet on social media, with reporting that reaches 70% of Americans in their 20s every month, NowThis’ video-first, social media-native approach allows the outlet to meet young audiences where they are with digestible news uniquely tailored to each social media platform. With a newsroom by young people for young people covering the issues that matter, NowThis has built its brand as a first mover on emerging social platforms, with coverage that inspires huge audience growth and engagement.  

In less than two years, NowThis has built a formidable presence on TikTok. NowThis has amassed over 5.7 million followers (growing 52% in 2021 with 1.2M new followers added) and over 180M likes with its news and politics channels, making it the largest news outlet on TikTok. Most recently, NowThis' two TikTok accounts got over 160M views in August, 2021. With explainers, fact-checks, news of the day, and in-platform interviews with high-profile leaders like Senator Sherrod Brown, NowThis has the agility to rapidly translate news coverage and build scale on social platforms as they emerge. Moreover, by mastering tactics on this short-form, vertical platform like the use of voice overs, rapidly changing visuals, and compelling visual and narrative hooks before pivoting to educational content, NowThis is able to stop thumbs and foster huge engagement on the platform. For example, NowThis created a piece showing a barber shaving his head in solidarity with his friend going through chemotherapy. By opening with a moving, emotional story and pivoting to an explainer on why chemotherapy causes hair loss, NowThis was able to both connect with and educate audiences. 

As a leader on the platform, NowThis recently hosted the 2021 SXSW featured session “How GenZ Duets the News on TikTok” to highlight the strategy that keeps young audiences engaged with news content on the platform, and was highlighted by Business Insider as having two of the top five fastest-growing accounts on the platform. 

NowThis also launched a new live series in partnership with TikTok called VIRAL, the platform’s first-ever series on public health education and first live episodic series with a publishing partner. Hosted by Laurel Bristow, an experienced infectious disease clinical researcher who has dedicated the last year to working on COVID-19 treatments and research, VIRAL was a weekly interactive series that featured interviews from public health experts and live Q&A with the TikTok community, answering their questions about the pandemic. From vaccine efficacy and transmission timelines to treatment and myth-busting, VIRAL broke down the facts about COVID-19 in easy to understand language, and provided information about public health risks as the pandemic continued. The series and NowThis’ coverage broadly is an example of how NowThis is able to inform, engage, and inspire young audiences innovative coverage of the most pressing issues of the day. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Group Nine Media