The Quint

Network18 founder Raghav Bahl’s digital news venture Quintillion Media has started publishing stories on Facebook from earlier this month, in what appears to be a preview of its upcoming digital news service The Quint. On its Facebook page, The Quint says readers can “sample what we have to offer over the next few weeks before we launch” and also request access to their service. Earlier in the month, Bahl had said that they will be launching the service in about three months.

The Quint seems to have started publishing stories from January 9 and so far, has published news and analysis across various categories like politics, technology, entertainment and sports among others using Facebook’s notes feature. Besides text, it has also posted slideshows through Facebook’s albums feature and uploaded a mix of original and newswire videos, although the focus seems more on the former. There are also quirky and parody videos on current affairs topics.

Bahl had earlier said that they will offer serious political news, technology and health updates as well as fun stuff & listicles and their focus will be hand-helds and tablets.

On Facebook as a news platform

We are not sure whether Facebook is a temporary home for The Quint or it has any other plans, although we feel Facebook is quite an interesting choice. In a way, it reflects to how content consumption is changing from search to social, especially with the growing adoption of mobile Internet and there are users who might just skip the web and go straight to mobile.

Facebook had also reportedly proposed a revenue share deal to publishers to directly publish their articles on Facebook’s mobile app, in October last year. It had also apparently conducted a “listening tour” with publishers, discussing better ways to collaborate, particularly on publisher’s approach towards mobile platform.

At the same time, the company has reduced the reach of news updates significantly with the intent of trying to get publishers to pay to improve reach and from what’ve seen, the platform has also lost the virality it once had.