Vía País changes its Google Web Stories strategy

By Camila Charris

Vía País


In March 2021, Vía País joined Google’s project, Google Web Stories. Its objective is to tell journalistic news through audio-visual slides and in a vertical format for smartphones.

According to Google’s recommendations, we initially covered entertainment-related topics like travel, cooking, fashion, and streaming.

The Google Web Stories span a wide variety of topics.
The Google Web Stories span a wide variety of topics.

At the end of December 2021, our Google Web Stories initiative passed to me with three months’ worth of the platform’s beta stories designed and published.

At the end of the test year, in March 2022, Vía País was included again in the development of this Google project. A publication in this format is made daily.

Beta version ends, strategy changes

At this point, the publishing strategy changed within the team of journalists at Vía País. My role was no longer just to think, design, and produce the Google Web Stories. I moved to an editor position with a team of six journalists from the newsroom.

When we started working on the project with the group, we first transmitted the information to the rest of the team so each person could consider their own news and ideas in this format. For this purpose, we held a series of training sessions on the platform. We also created tests and new templates for each topic.

To keep order and manage the number of weekly Google Web Stories, we designed a calendar to follow. In addition, the content sections covered were expanded — not only entertainment news, but also other topics like general information and sports. We placed greater emphasis on evergreen or timeless topics and SEO titles.

Since May 31 of this year, statistics for stories published on or after May 1 became available. In other words, the platform does not allow the analysis of news published before that date.

First results and statistics

Between May 1 and July 15, we created 76 Google Web Stories. However, according to data reflected on the platform, during these same dates, 296 unique stories were visited by users. These reached an average of 36,300 unique views, in addition to a total of 27,600 unique users who viewed the stories. The average number of pageviews per unique users was 7.51.

Short content has performed particularly well for the editorial team.
Short content has performed particularly well for the editorial team.

According to this data, users tend to access Vía País stories, regardless of whether they are new or have been published before. Moreover, they usually consume short content that is less than eight slides long.

A more detailed analysis of the type of content most viewed during this period shows the top positions are not only about entertainment, but also sports and general information, specifically health and current affairs.

The quest to share news through other methods

The Google Web Stories project helps us as journalists to think beyond conventional news and through audio-visual methods. This is relevant considering more users are looking for information through smartphones and social networks.

Therefore, the continuity of this experience allows us to innovate and try new content. In addition, being able to include more members of the editorial staff and cover more sections allows us to work as a team with a diversity of views on topics and how we tell stories.

About Camila Charris

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