Storify, the site that allows you to curate social media posts, is closing down on May 16, 2018.
More specifically, the free service is shutting down. Its for-pay business service will continue in another form. “While Storify.com is going away, the service will apparently live on in another form, under the Livefyre umbrella, as Storify 2,” writes Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “The new service will only be available to users who purchase a Livefyre license.”
It’s the free service, though, that copyeditors in particular seem to love. Maybe it’s because we like stories and Storify lets us collect social media posts, especially from live events, to tell a longer story. ACES “storifies” its monthly Twitter chats. Many editors storify tweets and other social media posts from editing conferences, alleviating any FOMO symptoms.
What can we do?
Save Your Stories
For those who create stories on Storify, you want to get busy exporting what you’ve created before May 16, the day the links are scheduled to stop working. If you’ve embedded a Storify link into a webpage, those links will cease to work.
I suppose you could let the stories go when Storify goes dark and even edit out the Storify links from other webpages (or even—gasp!—let dead URLs stay on your webpages), but that doesn’t seem like the editor thing to do. Copyediting newsletter has been a PDF-only publication for over a decade now, and I still have readers telling me they print out every issue. They highlight pages, add notes, and even keep them in binders. Heck, I print out every issue and put it in a binder, and I’ve read each story at least three times!
Storify’s End of Life page has directions for exporting your stories in several formats:
- Log in to Storify at storify.com/.
- Mouse over the story that contains content you would like to export and select “View.”
- Click on the ellipses icon and select “Export.”
- Choose your preferred format for download.
- To save your content and linked assets in HTML, select – File > Save as > Web Page, Complete.
- Repeat the process for each story’s content you want to preserve.
The format you choose to save your stories in will depend on what you will do with them. If you want to replace imported stories on webpages, you may want to export an HTML, XML, or JSON file. Talk to your website developer for help.
You can also save your stories as PDFs, either the stripped-down HTML version that’s one of your download options or the image-rich webpage itself. Using the Chrome browser, from either webpage choose your print option (e.g., ctrl+p or cmd+p). When your print window opens, change your printer to “Save as PDF” and click “Save.” Choose the desired folder to save the file to, update the file name if desired, and click “Save.” Your story is now a PDF on your computer’s hard drive! (See Digital Trends for directions for other browsers and operating systems.)
Reuse Your Stories
What do you do with the stories you’ve saved? This will depend on why you created them in the first place. If you created them to embed into other webpages, you’ll want to explore how to replace that content in your webpages.
If you created them just to share with others, give them a new home: on your website, SlideShare, or LinkedIn, for example.
And if you created them for personal use only, you now have the PDFs for reference.
Find a Replacement
There’s no exact replacement for Storify. Which tool you choose depends on what you want to do with the social media posts.
Tools like CrowdTangle, NewsWhip Spike, and Buzzsumo help users discover social media posts on a specific topic, but they’re built for research rather than sharing. These tools also help you track social media interactions and referrals for URLs.
If you’re looking to embed posts in a webpage, you may be able to do it directly from your website’s content management system (CMS). WordPress in particular has made it easier to add individual social media posts to a webpage. Check your CMS’s abilities.
But what about curating social media posts? Creating those stories we editors seem to love so much? Right now, the only options seem to be for Twitter. Twitter Moments, for example, has been around for over a year now. You’ll find many articles on how to use Twitter Moments to increase engagement on Twitter.
If you’re comfortable with Google Sheets (the search engine giant’s spreadsheet software), you might try TAGS (Twitter Archiving Google Sheet) for curating tweets. What you end up with, of course, is a spreadsheet of tweets, which may not be visually appealing if you want to share with others.
At this point, though, if you want to create a visually appealing, shareable collection of social media posts from something other than Twitter, you can really only do so if: (1) you have a website, (2) the website’s CMS will pull in social media posts, and (3) you have the time and patience to search out the content (maybe with one of the discovery tools mentioned) and pull in the posts. It seems like a lot of work for little return.
Storify, we’ll miss you.
UPDATE: Katharine O’Moore-Klopf informs me that Wakelet may be just what editors are looking for. The service allows users to save online content in the form of links, organize them as a collection, and either keep the collection private or share it with the world–just as you would in Storify. There’s even an “Import Storify” button in the user dashboard. I’m going to try it out. If you do, too, let me know what you think!