The New York Times Built a Slack Bot to Help Decide Which Stories to Post to Social Media

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The New York Times publishes more than 300 stories each day. Which ones should editors feature on its many social media channels? While the humans behind the Times’ social media accounts have refined their voice and craft, the process of handpicking which stories to feature can still be laborious and involves quite a bit of trial and error. Only around 50 stories make it to the Times’ main Facebook page each day, for instance (even fewer on weekends).

A new tool built by the Times’ data science team is trying to remove some of the guesswork involved in finding the right story to post to social. Blossom, an intelligent bot within the messaging app Slack, predicts how articles or blogposts will do on social and also suggests which stories editors should promote by drawing from enormous stores of data, including information on story content and performance metrics such as Facebook post engagement. Blossom can also show the basics of where posts have already appeared and how they are currently performing. [Read More]